Bruiser was among more than 4,000 dogs recruited to serve and protect U.S. troops in Vietnam, preventing 10,000-plus American casualties in the process. Yet, only a few of these dogs returned to America at the close of the war. Since these canine heroes were classified by the military as equipment, they were declared "surplus armaments" and either unceremoniously euthanised or left to unknown fates in Vietnam. None of the dogs, however, have ever been honored for their bravery and service - until now - through a compelling documentary called "War Dogs, America's Forgotten Heroes," narrated by the acclaimed actor Martin Sheen. There would be a whole lot more than 50,000 names on the Vietnam Wall without these dogs ... and I don't think the average American even knows the role these dogs played," said Dr. John Kubisz, a veterinarian who served with the 764th Veterinary Detachment in Vietnam. "There is no memorial to honor them, except the living testament - children who were born because their father survived a distant, violent dream, thanks to his best friend." While "War Dogs" tells the untold story of the heroic roles played by the thousands of war dogs in Vietnam, the documentary was produced primarily to: educate America about the unwavering bond between dog and handler that prevented more than 10,000 casualties in Vietnam; reveal how the heroic efforts of these dogs were never honored; prevent a similar tragedy; deliver an entirely different perspective of the Vietnam War; and, help concerned Americans raise funds for the creation of two war dog memorials. "These dogs deserve more and have the right to be honored and treated like any other American that served in Vietnam," said Jeffrey P. Bennett, executive producer of "War Dogs, America's Forgotten Heroes," and Founder, President and CEO of Nature's Recipe Pet Foods, which played a paramount role in the development of the documentary. "Unlike other soldiers, and unlike the dogs that served in other wars, these dogs never received medals or any other kind of recognition for their heroic efforts. America has never sufficiently thanked these dogs, and this documentary finally gives us the opportunity." According to Bennett, after World War II, surviving war dogs were sent home to their families with honorable discharges.
War Dogs: America's Forgotten Heroes - The Untold Story of Dogs in Combat. Narrated by Martin Sheen, Undated, Richard A. Bartsch Collection, The Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University. Accessed 3 Jul. 2015. <http://www.vietnam.ttu.edu/virtualarchive/items.php?item=999VI0211>.
Pub. Credit Line
999VI0211, Richard A. Bartsch Collection, The Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University