March 13 is K9 Veterans Day! We remember our four-legged service members.
by Edie Melson — Posted in Military Outreach on Mar 10, 2017
It had been hard watching the almost instant change from boy to man when our son enlisted in the military. I was proud of the strong man he’d grown into, but I missed the boy who’d been relegated to memory.
Relating to him was also hard. Before he’d joined the military, we had shared memories and experiences. Now he’d grown in a different direction—not bad, just different. I struggled as I felt like an outsider in my son’s life.
Then he was awarded a new job. He’d been chosen to be a bomb dog handler for his second tour in Iraq. This meant a lot more training, but the reward was incredible. He was given a partner—a four-legged bundle of energy and love.
After our son got his dog, his demeanor changed. On the phone, I began to hear a joy that had been missing. Finally the day arrived when we got to visit and meet his canine partner. As wonderful as it was meet Seger, I saw something else that made my heart soar. While our son showed off what his dog could do, I watched the boy peek through the man.
The relationship between that precious pooch and our son was uncanny. They seemed to anticipate what the other needed as they worked together in a partnership I’d never thought possible between a man and dog.
Between working, there was silliness with tug-of-war and tag. I watched them work, play and spur each other on to greater feats. Their personalities were so close to identical they could have both been my sons.
I’m eternally grateful to God for providing a canine companion to my son. And our experience makes celebrating K9 Veterans Day on March 13 a must.
Our four-legged military members deserve the same recognition and respect as the two-legged variety. We should honor all they do to serve and provide companionship to our brave men and women.