Thank You for Making History – Service of Military Working Dogs Recognized in Veterans Day Parade

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Finding One Another* and Pilots N Paws, plus other sponsors and friends, honored Military Working Dogs (MWDs) for the first time in history at New York City’s Veterans Day parade on November 11, 2012.

Thanks to the many generous sponsors, donors, and tireless volunteers (both two-and four-legged), history was made with the inaugural recognition of MWDs’ service to America from the War of 1812 through Afghanistan. An estimated 600,000 spectators lined Fifth Avenue, and the parade was televised to an estimated 39 million viewers and Armed Forces Services worldwide.

Your support made it possible to recognize our veterans from the past, as well as current MWDs and their handlers. We were humbled and honored to have active-duty MWD teams marching in front of our civilian contingent and want to recognize.

These active-duty MWD teams were:

  • SSG Brandon Cobb and K9 Ccrouse (Ccrouse was named for fallen Marine Lance Corporal William H. Crouse IV), Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, TX
  • SSG Joshua Knight and K9 Fany, just back from Afghanistan, Fort Belvoir, VA
  • SSgt Justin Foreman and K9 Bagira, Joint Base McGuire-Dix, Lakehurst, NJ
  • Petty Officer Second Class Robert Calabro and K9 Bendzi, Joint Base McGuire-Dix, Lakehurst, NJ
  • Cpl Joshua Cantrell and K9 Csoki, Quantico, VA.

Many people and companies came together to donate their time and resources to honor the MWDs and to educate the public about the critical role they play.

Our heartfelt gratitude goes to Senator Schumer, Douglas Miller, and:

  • Lead sponsors
    • Pilots N Paws
    • Subaru of America
    • American Roll-On-Roll-Off Carriers
    • Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League   
    • Monsey Tours
    • Tails of Hope Foundation/Finding One Another
    • The United Doberman Club
    •  Words and Pictures Creative Service, Inc.
  • Sponsors
    • American Rottweiler Club
    •  Animal Medical Center, NY – provided on-call emergency veterinary care (thankfully not needed) and canvas tote bags
    • Barbara Ross, Ross Communications, Inc.
    • Broadway Joe’s, NJ
    • Dorian Holowicki, NC
    • GFWC Pascack Junior Woman’s Club, NJ
    • Madison Rising Band and Purple Eagle Entertainment
    • Orange County Choppers
    • Park Ridge Volunteer Firemen’s Association, NJ
    • Pearl River Hilton, NY
    • Rockland Travel Bureau, Inc., NY
    • The Pilot Mall
    • GFWC Women’s Club of Westwood, NJ
    • Special thanks to members of the:
      • Colonial Rottweiler Club
      • Doberman Pinscher Club of America
      • Doberman Pinscher Club of Tappan Zee
      • The United Doberman Club
      • Tri-State Doberman Pinscher Club
  • Support
    • Linda Blick, Parade Chair, Tails of Hope Foundation / Finding One Another
    • Ray Carlisle, Parade Marshall, United Doberman Club
    • Debi Boies, Pilots N Paws, Float Sponsor
    • Gay Ann Wayne, K9 Parade Coordinator& Stained Glass Artist for WAR DOGS
    • Re-enactors
      • War of 1812 – Susan Schmidhauser with K9 Hank, Border Collie
      • Civil War – Steve Vining with K9 Dudley, Mixed-breed Collie
      • WWI – Tammy Murphy with K9 Abby, Rottweiler
      • WWII – Tony DeGregorio with K9  Rudy, Doberman Pinscher
      • Korean War – Walter Perog with K9 Vladamir, Mastiff
      • Vietnam War -Louis Gangemi with K9 Merlet, Yellow Lab
      • Desert Storm – Gary Sciascia with K9 Emily, Belgian Malinios
      • Iraq – Patty Kallmeyer with K9 Ruger, German Shepherd (Blue Star Aunt)
      • Afghanistan – Nancy Brooks with Chief, German Shepherd (Blue Star Mom)
      • Special Guests – Gus  Vasiliadis, Purple Heart Recipient, with K9 Tosca, German Shepherd
      • WAR DOGS – Gracing the back of the Pilots N Paws Float is a custom made WAR DOG Stained Glass honoring the most common breeds who have served America since WWII.  The WAR DOG Award artistic rendering was donated by artist and retired NYC Detective Gay Ann Wayne who was also a member of the NYC/ FBI Joint Terrorist Task Force for 19 years including service during 9/11 and will be permanently placed in the Lackland Military Working Dog School auditorium.
    • K9 Teams
      • Anne Coy with K9 Jayda, Rottweiler
      • Barbara Moyer K9 Rambo, Doberman Pinscher
      • Caroline Loevner K9 Beau, Husky
      • Diane Cohn with K9 Ch. Cousteau of Kessilla, Rottweiler
      • Jennifer & Richard Coby  with K9 Ernie & Frankie, Rottweilers
      • Pam Burns with K9 Brick Road, Doberman Pinscher
      • Tim Norton with K9 Stryker,  Doberman Pinscher
      • Vera & Doug Hueg with K9 Mountain Dew Kissamy Face Contessa—Tessa, Mastiff
    • Pilots N Paws Members
      • Debi Boies, Founder
      • Kathleen Quinn, Executive Director
      • Nick O’Connell, Vice President
      • Erika O’Connell
    • Youth Ambassador K9 Career Program, aka YAP,™ Ambassadors and Chaperones
      • Briana Hargett, Alfred G. Waters Middle School, DE, Agri-Science Teacher and YAP Advisory Board Member
      • Barry Karlin, NY, Chaperone
      • Cameron Sweisthal, Past President FFA, DE, AGW (Banner)
      • Cindy Sweisthal, DE, Chaperone
      • Lily Sweisthal, DE, Chaperone
      • Cathy Karlin, NY, Chaperone
      • Elaiya Gonzales, NY (Banner)
      • Lexi  Kachinsky DE, Jr. Marine (Banner)
      • Jared Soldo, DE (Banner)
      • Melody Brown, VA
      • Molly Karlin, NY
      • David Kontny, DC
      • Catie Whiting, DE (Banner)
      • Debbie Whiting, DE, Chaperone
      • Colby Spurlock, DE (Banner)
    • Volunteers
      • Barbara Lucani, NJ
      • Blue Star Mom Peg Mockler, NJ
      • Brown Family, VA
      • Clayton Blick, NJ
      • Diane  Perog, NJ
      • Dorothy Mauro, NJ -K9 Treats
      • Erin Wenzler, NY
      • Ernestine Picone, NY
      • Eve Ragalia, NY
      • George and Kerry Degiovanni, NJ
      • Jeff Shaver, TX
      • Jill T. Lee, MD
      • Kontny Family, VA
      • Marilyn DeGregorio, NY
      • Marcia Eisen, NJ
      • Mark Eisen, NJ (Chef Cookey)
      • Pam and Tom Harmke, NJ
      • Patty Coleman, NY
      • Patty Mauro, NJ- Dinner Coordinator
      • Pete Mauro, Chief, Park Ridge Fire Department, NJ
      • Paul Chayt, NJ
      • Stefanie Tully, NJ
      • Tammy and Matt Levinson, NJ

Special thanks to:

  • The Karlin Family (Barry, Cathy and Molly) for introductions to the United War Veterans Council
  • The United War Veterans Council for inviting us to present the history of the Military Working Dogs Service to America

Photo credits: Gay Ann Wayne, Debi Boies, Linda Blick

*Finding One Another is a program of Tails of Hope Foundation

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