The U.S. Postal Service has just released a series of beautiful stamps honoring the brave dogs who work with the U.S. military. These stamps were first made available on August 1 when they were unveiled at a dedication ceremony.
The stamps are designed with a white star in the background, along with red, white, and blue colors to represent the U.S. flag. They feature the four breeds that most commonly serve in the military today: German Shepherd Dog, Labrador Retriever, Dutch Shepherd, and Belgian Malinois.
These Four Breeds Are Uniquely Qualified for Military Work
The four breeds each bring their own strengths to the military.
German Shepherd Dogs are dependable, easily trained, and can adapt to almost any climate, making them a wonderful military dog. In a video released by USPS, SSG Terry Young, Kennel Master with the 947th Military Police Detachment of the Army, explains that German Shepherds are often used as patrol dogs since apprehending suspects fits with their natural instincts. He says the very first time his dog alerted him when he was on deployment, they found a weapons cache.
Dutch Shepherds make great military dogs and can be used for detection, patrol, law enforcement, or more, shares SSgt Angel Flores, a K9 dog handler with the Air Force. He says a strong bond between dog and handler is essential so there’s trust within the team. “There’s a reason why they’re our best friend,” he said. “They’ll do anything for us. I would do anything for my dog.”
Labrador Retrievers are typically trained as specialized search dogs in the military. MA2 Christian Vitale, a trainer with the Navy, explains that Labrador Retrievers “are mostly used for their keen ability to find things and scout things.” He says they have an amazing natural instinct for smelling and hunting, which is perfect for detecting drugs, explosives, or personnel.
Belgian Malinois dogs are among the most loyal of military dogs, says Officer Josiah Caldwell, a dog handler with the U.S. Marines. According to him, watching the dogs take to their training is like “watching a child be born right in front of you.” He and his dog share a deep, mutual love for each other. “I get to work with my best friend every day.”
A Foster Program Lets Interested Parties Socialize Military Puppies
Today, military dogs get their training by the 341st Training Squadron at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. The squadron has a Military Working Dogs Foster Program where people in the San Antonio and Austin, Texas, areas can provide a safe home for eight-week-old military puppies and help them develop socially.
The USPS Military Working Dog stamps come in a booklet of 20 stamps, with four designs featuring the four breeds. These new stamps are “Forever Stamps,” which means their value will always be equal to the cost of mailing a one-ounce letter through domestic First-Class mail, even if the price of stamps increases in the future. They’re a beautiful way to honor these loyal, hard-working dogs.