Lynn Moore comes close to tears when she talks about the dog she left behind in the Air Force police; so it is not surprising that she supports a proposed memorial to war dogs in Washington, D.C.
"I don't think in the near future, there's a statue that's going to pop up," she said. "If it does come about, it's going to take a lot of time . . . a lot of money and a lot of politicking."Joseph J. White, 39, of Fayetteville, N.C., an Army veteran of Vietnam, hopes to transform such resolve into a political force that can get the message across that dogs have saved thousands of lives in wars since World War I.
"It's been a little slow," he said by phone from his home recently. "People don't even know we exist."
He estimated The National War Dogs Memorial Project Inc., which he formed in December, has about 150 members and about $200.
Mrs. Moore, 27, was a dog handler for eight years in the Air Force before being discharged in 1987. She became a supporter in December when, in the magazine Dogworld, she read White's story of his experience in Vietnam during 1970 with his dog, Ebony.
He had to leave Ebony in Vietnam because of a blood disease that was sweeping through the dog population.
Ebony was a sentry dog, trained to sniff out booby traps and the enemy. During the eight months they were together, not one soldier in his patrol was killed, White said.
Moore points out that the history of military dogs includes them as messengers between trenches in World War I, as veterans of Iwo Jima where 100 were lost and as a major component of the armed forces, with 10,000 enlisted at the end of World War II.
"The idea that people are forgetting these dogs infuriates me," she said.
White estimated as many as 10,000 lives may have been saved in Vietnam by alert sentry dogs. That alone should earn them a place of honor, he said.