Senator Wants to Honor Working Military Dogs, Their Handlers

Military and civilian police K-9 handlers gather for the presentation of colors and the National Anthem before the 2014 Defenders K-9 Trials May 17, 2014, at Travis Air Force Base, Calif.

HOLMDEL, N.J. — U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez wants to create a commendation for military working dogs and their handlers.

The New Jersey Democrat says his legislation would create the Guardians of America's Freedom Medal. He made the announcement Saturday during the 10th anniversary rededication ceremony of the United States War Dog Memorial in Holmdel.

Menendez said the commendation would recognize the valor and meritorious achievement of the highly trained and skilled teams. It would be issued by each branch of the military.

Menendez says military working dogs have served on the front lines since World War I and continue to take on growing roles.

He said the dogs serve on the front lines, detecting improvised explosive devices and leading search and rescue operations. They also locate casualties, guard supplies and patrol secured perimeters.

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