Supporting Deployed K-9 Handlers,
USAF Security Force Members &
Army Vet. Technicians in
Southwest  Asia &  the Persian Gulf .
 
 

In 2003, Cathy & I had been corresponding with a handler that had adopted her military dog (SSgt Jennifer Vasquez). She told us of her pending return to the "sandbox" but that she could still email us. After her deployment we sent her a care package. That night, I mentioned to Cathy, that any care package or moral support would have been welcomed when I was in Vietnam. It was at the height of the anti-war movement and military was made to feel like second class citizens.

We asked Jennifer to check with the other handlers if they would like an old dawg to have as a pen pal. In a day she replied with a list of email address. The first handler I asked was Bill Cummings (Thailand Handler). He was very enthused  about it and suggested several handlers that would probably want to take part. To the credit of my peer group, no old handler has ever said no.

Within a few days, we received a email from Jennifer that she had seen "the young pups" in the admin tent using the computers to write to their "old Dawgs". The program grew and was such a hit with both the old "dawgs" and young "pups". We adopted and supported handlers from all branches of the military. We even adopted two coalition handlers from Denmark serving with a kennels in Kyrgyzstanin, Central Asia.  

We soon expanded it to dog handlers from all services, all Security Force members and our US Army Veterinary Technicians. As one Vet. Tech. told us, "we keep their tails wagging". Dog handlers have always been the first line of defense, so it seemed natural to lead the way.  

Our volunteers sent care packages and corresponded with them. A message or letter every week or so and perhaps a care package from the US was an excellent way to show these young men and women that they are appreciated. Yes, we have women handlers in "Harms Way" also. The military opened the dog program to women in the 70's. One was severely injured in a Iraqi roadside bombing.  

Our volunteers are former dog handlers and members of the VSPA and VDHA (Vietnam Dog Handlers Association). We have had a surprisingly large numbers of civilians that have helped also. A K-9 Supply program has been coordinated and funded by a group of  “Old Dawgs” that are members of the VSPA, VDHA, or just friends of K-9. 

Cathy & I started fulfilling our dream of traveling the US in a motor home. Bill Cummings assumed the program.  Under his leadership it has grown with commercial sponsorship to help out our young pups.

For Information

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VSPA  is an association for USAF Vietnam War Veterans who  served  in Vietnam or Thailand from  1960-1975, as  Air Police / Security    Police or as an Augmentee.  Visit the main pages for information on joining.  

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Website Last Updated:  July 12, 2013

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