For those of you who contacted my site to ask about John C. Burnam's book, there may still be some in circulation; google it up! (Or perhaps the www.jbmf.us website could provide information on availability of the book).
The complete title of the book is: Dog Tags of Courage: The Turmoil of War and the Rewards of Companionship.
The book reflects the guilt and grief of all the handlers who saw their dogs abandoned in Vietnam (the only U.S. conflict in which the military dogs were left behind).
Among the many written memories that have stayed with me over the eight years since I first read the book is Burnam's description of an enemy mortar attack on the military dog kennels.
The sleeping animals had been locked in for the night, and the handlers could only listen helplessly to the pain and panic of their dogs. Some dogs died in the attack; some were badly wounded. As for Burnam's own canine/soldier partner, Clipper was mid-kennel and survived.
That did not, however, keep Clipper from meeting an undeserved and tragic fate when these canine soldiers were ordered to be left behind in a country in which the dogs were feared, hated and (in cultural tradition) eaten.
That might shed some light on the tireless efforts of Burnam and others in the long campaign to get national recognition for the U.S. military working dogs of all wars.
Consider donating to this excellent cause.
If you've lost a treasured dog, consider such a donation a good memorial.
(JBMF, Inc., SunTrust Bank, Attn; Kevin Thorpe, 1445New York Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005)
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