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National K-9 Veterans Day Honors Dogs That Served

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By Debbie Gregory.

The United States K9 Corps were created on March 13, 1942, and this has been designated as National K-9 Veterans Day. Although it is an unofficial holiday, most dog lovers don’t need much of an excuse to celebrate “man’s best friend.”

Military K9s, Border Patrol K9s, Customs K9s, Police K9s, Secret Service K9s, Airport Service K9s and FBI K9s work to aid and protect us.  They preform important tasks and dangerous tasks such as search, rescue, explosives detection, scouting, patrolling and subduing suspects.

Some of the most relied upon breeds that perform this work include German Shepherds, Dutch Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, and Labradors.

Today’s military dogs are valued.  They are important members of their military units and even have their own retirement ceremonies, awards and medals and memorial services.  Often they are adopted by a member of the team.

We salute non-profit American Humane’s Lois Pope LIFE Center for Military Affairs which helps reunite retired military dogs with their former handlers, provides veterans struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress, PTS with lifesaving service dogs, arranges free veterinary care for retired four-legged service members, and drives legislation that supports military dogs and their human counterparts.

A few extraordinary K-9s include:

  • Jag, a Labrador Retriever who retired in 2013 and served with the U.S. Army for seven years. Jag was adopted by battle buddy Sgt. Dennis Dow.
  • Jig, another Labrador Retriever who served with the U.S. Marine Corps for five years as an IED Detection Dog until he was medically retired do to an oral melanoma.
  • Kyria, a Dutch Shepard, who worked at Lackland AFB before joining the Albuquerque Police Department as an explosive detection canine.
  • Nico, a German Shepherd who served with the U.S. Navy Seals. Nico was eventually reunited with his handler.
  • Summer, a Labrador Retriever who served with the U.S. Marine Corps for five years and now serves with the TSA K-9 team for the D.C. Amtrak police.
  • Taker, a Labrador Retriever who retired in 2012 and served with the U.S. Marine Corps as an IED Detection Dog. Taker was adopted by battle buddy Sgt. Kevin Zuniga.

We owe a debt of gratitude to the canines who are placed in harm’s way to protect our servicemembers and first responders.

Veteran and Military Business Owners Association, VAMBOA,

 

FBI Feeling the Sting of the Recent Government Shutdown

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By Debbie Gregory.

During the recent government shut down and the risk of another; while the majority of FBI employees remained on the job, albeit without pay, the 14,000 members of the FBI Agents Association had been hampered from performing their duties, including investigations, travel, training, payments to confidential sources and employee benefits, all due to the government shutdown.

Thomas O’Connor, the FBI special agent who is the volunteer president of the association, said “It’s sad” and “disgusting” that the bureau’s law enforcement professionals “have been let down by our elected officials.”

So the association took the rare step of collecting anonymous, volunteer statements from special agents as to how they have been affected by Washington’s inability to keep the government functioning.

The report, “Voices from the Field: FBI Agent Accounts of the Real Consequences of the Government Shutdown,” identifies the risks that may emerge from another shutdown, and it will be distributed to all lawmakers.

“We are releasing Voices from the Field to ensure that our elected leaders and members of the public are aware that the resources available to support the work of FBI Agents stretched to the breaking point and dwindling day by day,” said O’Connor in regards to the recent government shutdown.

The report details of how a lack of funding caused by the government shutdown had undermined criminal, counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence operations; delayed and complicated child trafficking and exploitation investigations; harmed cooperation with local law enforcement; reduced informant cooperation; and hindered a wide range of other efforts.

“For us, the fight for funding is not political. It is a matter of completing our mission to protect this country from criminal and national security threats,” said O’Connor. “It’s time for Congress and the White House to negotiate an agreement that protects national security and public safety, so that Agents can get back to work,” O’Connor added. “Our message is simple. For FBI Special Agents, financial security is national security. It is critical to fund the FBI.”

For Agents, the fight for funding is not political. It is a matter of completing their mission and protecting the Constitution and the people of our nation.

One overriding fact is clear when you listen to FBI Agents: Financial security is national security.

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