Cracker! The Best Dog In Vietnam - dogs in direct combat roles
A book is out that gets its inspiration from some unsung heroes who served in vietnam: Vietnam war scout dogs. Cynthia Kadohata wrote "Cracker! The Best Dog In Vietnam." She based it on interviews with veteran scout dog handlers from the war, including Rick Claggett. The Vietnam War saw a big increase in the use of dogs in direct combat roles. Jungle patrols were very limited in what the soldiers could see and hear. Scout dogs were trained for jungle combat in a 12 week course. There was specialized training for daytime or night scouting, detecting tunnels, mines, trip wires and booby traps, and guard duty.
Lasting tribute to dogs of war -- 4,000 served in Vietnam
The US War Dogs Memorial was dedicated on the grounds of the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial. It serves as a lasting tribute to the nearly 10,000 dog handlers and 4,000 dogs who served in Vietnam. It wasn't until the Vietnam War that the role of dogs in supporting servicemen in dangerous missions fully developed. They were used in tracking, searching tunnels, detecting mines and traps, and guarding soldiers. After Vietnam, most of the dogs were euthanized or handed over to the South Vietnamese. Only about 200 dogs left Vietnam, either remaining in the Pacific area or returning to the United States.