PHOENIX - Military working dogs have saved thousands of lives. Now, thanks to one Phoenix veteran, these dogs will get the recognition for their service that they deserve.
"I always tell people all the dogs are mine, I just got to loan them out to the guys as they came over," Jim Frost said.
Frost served in the United States Army from 1969 until 1972.
"I went over to Vietnam and I was a platoon leader. I was company commander of the 981st MP Company," he said.
His main job was to train German Shepherds to work with soldiers on the front lines.
Jim loved them all.
"The bond between a canine handler and his dog is just, it's an unbreakable bond. I mean, even these guys that worked with dogs in Vietnam, they still remember that dog today. They have their dog's name on their license plate. They have their dog's name in their email address. They still carry pictures of their dog around with them in their wallet, along with their grandkids," Jim said.
Maybe it's Jim's time serving during Vietnam that helps him relate to the four legged members of the military who just haven't gotten the recognition they deserve.
"There wasn't much publicity about them for a long time, for decades," he said.
But that's all about to change. Jim showed ABC15 a model of the U.S. Military Working Dog Teams National Monument that will be dedicated Monday at the Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.
"That's the home of the military working dog program," Jim said.
The monument shows dogs from every era of war.
"The Doberman was the pride of the Marine Corps in WWII. The German Shepherd was the predominant breed in Vietnam. The Marines used a lot of Labrador Retreivers in Afghanistan for IED detection," he said.
They're amazing animals who are still saving soldiers today.
"In Afghanistan right now each dog is officially credited with saving 150 lives during its tour of duty," Jim said.
Animals that impacted Jim personally during his time in Vietnam.
"In Vietnam they're officially credited with saving 10,000 lives. There could have been 10,000 more names on the wall," he said.
Jim's love for the animals inspired him to help raise $15,000 for the monument. He's flying to Texas so he can see the dedication firsthand.
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