A Veterans Day thank you from all of us at the Raptor Resource Project!
November 11, Veterans Day, honors and celebrates the service of all military veterans. Thank you to our veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. You heard the call of duty and left the lives you knew to answer it.
When we think of veterans, we usually think of the people we know. But our veterans also include dogs, horses, pigeons, elephants, mules, camels, cats, bald eagles, fox cubs, canaries, monkeys, and even slugs. Some animals worked alongside their human partners in trenches, in battles, and at sea, while others served as mascots, morale boosters, and comfort in a time of need. It is estimated that over 16 million animals served in World War 1, a war described by the US Congress in 1926 as the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals. In reading about the topic, we were struck by the photos of animal and human soldiers together here: https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2014/04/world-war-i-in-photos-animals-at-war/507320/. These pictures are beautiful and sobering as they reveal the cost of war to humans and animals, and the extent to which soldiers relied on their animal companions to help keep them safe and whole in body, mind, and spirit.
Veterans, we hope you know that our appreciation isn’t just hollow words for those of you who have given so much. The cost of serving is high and your service and sacrifice has earned much more than a single day. How can we honor veterans beyond Veterans Day? A few resources – thanks to Mod Eight and Sherri Elliott for help with the links!
- K9’s for Veterans Day: https://www.k9sforwarriors.org/. Help provide service dogs to military veterans suffering from PTSD.
- Dogs on Deployment: https://www.dogsondeployment.org/. Support your troops by boarding their pets!
- K9 Navigators: http://www.k9navigators.org/. Provides assistance dogs to active duty and retired military personnel, first-responders including fire, police, emergency personnel and their families injured while honorably serving our country.
- Show Your Stripes: http://www.showyourstripes.org/. Show Your Stripes helps connect veterans with jobs, generates awareness around the issue of veteran unemployment, and encourages businesses to hire skilled veterans.
- National Coalition for Homeless Veterans: http://www.nchv.org/. Veterans are over-represented in the homeless population for a number of complex reasons. Learn more about this issue and how you can help.
- Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors: http://www.taps.org/. This program connects family members who have lost service members and veterans in similar ways.
- PTSD Projects: https://ptsdprojects.com/. If you’re suffering from PTSD, a caregiver to someone with PTSD or a family member, PTSD Projects as resources to help you.
This is an excellent link for learning more about animals who served in World War 1, including the incredible Sergeant Stubby – a dog who outranked his owner, warned of gas attacks, and caught a spy! http://www.history.com/news/war-animals-from-horses-to-glowworms-7-incredible-facts