The US first used dogs in war in the early 1800s. (Pit bulls were used as protection and couriers during the Civil War!) Approximately 5,000 dogs were used by American forces during the Vietnam War, and were credited with saving over 10,000 lives. In spite of this, around 3,000 of them were abandoned to terrible fates when the US pulled out. In 2000, President Clinton signed a law that allowed military dogs to be adopted after their service instead of euthanized. Now…finally… thanks to the National Defense Authorization Act that President Obama has signed, military dogs are henceforth no longer “military equipment”, to be left behind in foreign lands, but military veterans. Regardless where you stand on the use of dogs (who are not volunteers) in wars (that they didn’t start), this is surely the very least we owe them.