New Memorial In Ohio Honors Vietnam War Dogs And Their Handlers

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Motts Military Museum in Groveport, Ohio has unveiled a new memorial. The memorial is dedicated to the dogs and their handlers who fought in the Vietnam War. It is called the Vietnam War Dog Team Memorial.

The memorial has three black granite panels and has the names of 4,244 dogs that served in the Vietnam War. It also has 297 names of dog handlers and one veterinarian and two vet technicians. The middle panel simply states, “The Unbreakable Bond.”

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Photo of the new Vietnam War memorial

Vietnam War Dog Team Memorial
Vietnam War Dog Team Memorial / Facebook

The memorial also has life-sized statues of Ed Reeves and his dog, Prince. Ed was a dog handler in Vietnam and is still alive. He visits the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C. and always says that Prince saved his life.

The granite panels on the memorial were from the same place that received the granite for the Vietnam War Memorial. The new memorial cost $110,000 and was designed and constructed by the Colombus Art Memorial. The sculptor was made by Alan Cottrill.

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Vietnam War dog handlers attended the dedication of the new memorial

dedication to vietnam war dog memorial
Dedication to new memorial / Facebook

Ed attended the dedication of the new memorial along with another handler named Tom King. Both said that one of the only things that kept them going during the war was their dogs. However, when they returned home, their dogs stayed back to work with other handlers. That was a tough transition for many who really bonded with their dogs.

vietnam war dog and handler
Vietnam War dog and handler / Flickr

According to War History Online, “[Ed] Reeves has volunteered at Motts Military Museum since 2012. He researched what became of his dog, Prince, and published the results in a book he self-published in 2016. The assistant director of the museum, Lori Motts-Byrd, began raising funds in order to build a memorial to the dogs and the men who worked with them. Private donations poured in and a major $50,000 grant from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission was key in getting the project off the ground.”

Not many dogs came home from the war

dog handler and their dog war
Dog handler / National Museum of the USAF

For instance, only around 200 dogs came home after the war. Sadly, many died at war, were euthanized or sent to work for the South Vietnamese Army. To help handlers lost without their dogs after the war, The Vietnam Dog Handler Association was formed. There is a history of dogs being used in war, with the first time in the United States being in World War II.

vietnam war dog and handler
Vietnam War dog and handler / Pinterest

In conclusion, Ed started to research to find out what may have happened to Prince. Prince actually was sent home to the United States at some point and worked in San Diego, sniffing for drugs at the border. Ed learned that Prince lived to be 15, which makes him feel a bit relieved. At least the dog whom he loved and saved his life many times had a long, healthy life.

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