Military service dogs have played a vital role in the Armed Forces for decades, but for many years their sacrifice had gone unrecognized. However, that is no longer the case and the first-ever monument dedicated to the country's bravest canines will be unveiled in California in two months, according to The Associated Press.
The U.S. Working Dog Teams National Monument in Los Angeles is dedicated to every dog that has served since World War II, and while there are similar structures in several places across the country, this is the first one to be dedicated on a national level.
The effort has been more than a decade in the making and marks the culmination of a bill passed by Congress in 2007 and signed into law a year later. The initiative was led by veteran John Burnam, who designed the monument, which stands more than nine feet tall.
"I wanted to give something back to these animals that have done so much and asked for so little, except for food and water and the love of their handlers," Burnam, a Purple Heart recipient, told the AP.
Military dogs have been especially helpful in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, when Navy SEALs raided the compound where Osama bin Laden was killed, their canine companions were right there, according to ABC News.