War Dogs 09

Contract Working Dogs Geli sit for a photo in owners Jim and Linda Crismer's Fruit Heights backyard on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019. The Vietnam Veterans of America Northern Utah Chapter is raising funds to get a statue to honor Vietnam War Dogs next to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Layton. The statue will be modeled after Mazzie who served in Kuwait for 5 years.

As we approach Veterans Day on Nov. 11, Northern Utahns have places to respect and honor the men and women who make sacrifices for us each day.

One of the newest places is the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Layton Commons Park.

Now, a group of residents are proposing an addition be made to the memorial there.

It’s not often discussed, but K-9s have died in the service of the military and are also actively used by many Utah police and sheriff departments.

According to the U.S. War Dogs Association, 4,900 dogs reportedly served in Vietnam and only 200 are said to have made it out of the country, with the rest euthanized or left with the South Vietnamese army.

One couple, Linda and Jim Crismer (members of Vietnam Veterans of America Northern Utah Chapter 1079), is spearheading the efforts to install a memorial war dog statue to be placed in Layton Commons Park.

Layton has agreed to furnish the space for the war dog statue, but now the funds must be secured — more than $40,000. While they are pursuing a RAMP grant from the city, it will likely not cover the expenses.

They are now asking for other government bodies and individuals’ contributions to make this memorial a reality.

If they are able to secure the funds, it’s possible (though we have not been able to confirm this) that Layton could be one of the few — if only — places that honors the creatures working side by side with military in war next to a Vietnam memorial.

We get teary eyed thinking of all the good man’s best friend has selflessly done to protect citizens through many wars, some of which have died in the field, and others that have retired with their handlers or adopted out. Honoring them is a noble effort; we’re fortunate to have a community that acknowledges this.

For those interested in contributing to the cause, donations can be made to the VVA Chapter 1079, War Dog Statue, 1290 W. 1045 South, Clearfield, UT 84015.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!