War Dogs! Memorial
Feelings and Thoughts
I was at the War Dogs Memorial...

I Was Moved To Tears
by Joan Elder
© 2000

The first time I heard about the Vietnam Dog Handlers Association was in 1997. Norm Ream took me to meet Tom Mitchell to begin planning the 1998 San Diego reunion. As our planning sessions progressed it became very clear to me that this is a very special group of people who are focused on remembering their dogs. I immediately became a committed supporter of VDHA. The gathering in San Diego was special as it reunited VDHA members for three days of sharing experiences and memories of Vietnam and the dogs that meant so much. I was privileged to sit at the check-in table and watch as many of you eagerly awaited the arrival of the friends you had not seen for so long. I was moved to tears as I witnessed the emotion of your reunions. The War Dogs Memorial dedication was a very moving and long awaited moment I will never forget. Just as the "War Dogs" movie was a tribute to the dogs and their handlers, the Memorial displays strength and integrity to all who visit. I join all of you in offering my thanks to Jeff Bennett and Tom Mitchell and all who made the memorial a reality. I look forward to seeing you in Washington, D.C. for the reunion on October, 2000.

Joan Elder, Miramar Travel

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