A Different Kind of Service Dog

By Drew Brooks, Military Editor

The Airborne & Special Operations Museum will pay tribute to the canine brethren of the nation’s elite soldiers.

A Memorial Day service for K-9 soldiers was held in partnership with the Special Operations Forces K9 Memorial Foundation at noon on May 29. The event honored the bravery and dedication of the four-legged members of the special operations community.

“These truly daring and brave dogs often lead their soldier team-members in the most dire conditions to save lives and complete the mission,” said Paul Galloway, executive director of the Airborne & Special Operations Museum Foundation. “They’ve given their lives for their country, and we are grateful to be able to honor them on this special day.”

The special guest speaker for the event was Laura Miller, who served as a veteran technician in the Army for 26 years. Miller is vice president of the SOF K9 Memorial Foundation, which she co-founded in 2010, and is the author of a children’s book, “How I Became a K-9 Commando.”Following the ceremony, Miller read from the book in the museum’s video theater. The book tells the story of a Dutch-born pup who becomes a special operations military working dog.

Miller and the book’s illustrator, Amanda Coman-Casserleigh, signed copies that will be available at the museum’s gift shop.

The military began the “K-9 Corps” 75 years ago, but after Vietnam, the use of dogs was curtailed for the mainly law enforcement type of operations. Dogs were used for bomb sniffing, drug detection and for the quelling of riots and protests.

But the rise of the use of dogs by Special Operations troops has made them a common sight on the battlefields of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. There are currently more than 2500 working dogs on duty with the military. Over 700 at any given time are deployed overseas.

These dogs are fiercely loyal, courageous and have saved many operators’ lives during the wars ongoing. Cry havoc….and let slip the dogs of war.

Military editor Drew Brooks can be reached at






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