Bob and Rigamarole at Texas Canyon Rest Area, Arizona, September 30, 2017

Bob and Rigamarole at Texas Canyon Rest Area, Arizona, September 30, 2017
Bob and Rigamarole at Texas Canyon Rest Area, Arizona, September 30, 2017

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A National Monument Most People Don't Know - Tues., May 13

Let's go back to October 2013. A new national monument was created that few people know about...unless you love dogs. That would apply to my sister-in-law, Laura, who raises, shows and trains dogs, has worked as a licensed veterinary technician, and donated to the fund for this new national monument. Are you curious as to what this national monument honors? Do you know?

First, let me say this new national monument is located at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. Are you getting closer to an educated guess?

We checked in at Lackland Main Gate Visitor Center to obtain a visitor's pass and were given directions to the monument. As we started walking to the monument, I took photos of planes on the edges of the parade ground.


The C-118 "Liftmaster" pictured below is a version of the DC-6 which was developed from a C-54 and first flew in February 1946. Between 1951 and 1955, 101 aircraft were purchased by the USAF for MATS (Military Air Transportation Service). The C-118A carried 74 passengers. When used for aeromedical evacuations, the aircraft carried 60 litter patients or 61 ambulatory patients. In 1947, a DC-6 was selected for presidential use. Known as the VC-118A "Independence," it was in service until 1975. Manufacturer: Douglas; speed 360 mph; range 3,860 miles; altitude 18,0000'; power plant Pratt & Whitney R-2800, 2500 HP.

C-118 "Liftmaster"
Below is the C-47 "Skytrain" (or "Gooney  Bird" as it was nicknamed). It was adapted from the Douglas DC-3 commercial airliner that first flew in December 1935. These planes carried personnel and cargo and, in a combat role, towed troop-carrying gliders and dropped paratroopers into enemy territory. After the war, many C-47s remained in Air Force service, participating in the 1948 Berlin Airlift and other peacetime activities. During the Korean Conflict, C-47s hauled supplies, dropped paratroopers, evacuated wounded, conducted Air Rescue, and dropped flares for night bombing attacks. Again during the Vietnam Conflict the C-47 served as a transport, but was also used in other missions including flying night ground attack (gunship), electronic reconnaissance, and psychological warfare missions.

C-47 "Skytrain"

B-26C
The monument we first saw was not our destination, but still interesting: The MTI Monument dedicated to the United States Air Force Enlisted Corps represented by the Military Training Instructors who mold the Air Force of today and tomorrow.

MTI Monument
Code of the Military Training Instructor:
"The Training Instructor badge I wear is a symbol of honor, integrity and excellence in military deportment. My job is one of the most important in the Air Force and I will spare no effort to properly prepare young men and women for military duty.

"I am dedicated to the principles of fairness, firmness and honesy in my dealings with those entrusted to my charge. I am pledged to strive for perfection and to reject mediocrity both in my own personal behavior and in the performance of those for whom I am responsible. I am an Air Force Military Training Instructor."
Also at this monument is a plaque with names of the BMTS [Basic Military Training School] Blue Ropes of the Year...The Best of the Best

A master military training instructor is one who is a total professional in all phases of basic training - the top ten percent of the instructor force.
  • Is a leader among other instructors and exhibits only the highest characteristics of ethics, morality and integrity.
  • Fully supports the mission, traditions and esprits de corps of the basic military training school.
  • Is the "Best of the Best."
As we continued walking south on the parade ground, we reached our destination: Military Working Dog Teams National Monument. A number of photos are included in case you never get a chance to go to Lackland Air Force Base to see this.

Guardians of America's Freedom

Laura at the monument to which she contributed.





Visiting the monument with Laura was very interesting. She gave us lots of insight into the Working Dogs program. For example, the photo below has significance because in Vietnam military working dogs were classified as "equipment," hence they were left behind at the end of the war facing almost certain death. Since Vietnam, the dogs' classification has been changed to "personnel" and are evacuated at the end of the conflict. The working dogs are also a rank above their handlers so that if a handler mistreats or abuses the dog under his/her care they can be charged with assaulting a superior officer. Who knew? Laura, that's who (and the military of course).

"Not Forgotten Fountain"


Laura also enlightened us on the types of dogs used in conflict. I questioned how they could use labrador retrievers because they're such nice dogs. She said different dogs have different purposes.
  • Labs are used because of their superior sense of smell. For example, they can sniff out bombs.
  • German Shepherds used to be the dog of choice in WWI and WWII, but in Iraq and Afghanistan the German Shepherds stop working in 120+ degree temperatures.
  • Dobermans are better in confined or limited spaces, not out in an open range.
  • The dogs currently being bred and used in military conflicts are the Belgian Malinois. These dogs work in high temperatures and are crazy enough to be war dogs. They just don't stop.


Laura with a German Shepherd sculpture

Can't you just imagine a soldier and his canine scout in battle?
Doberman pinscher
I found all this to be fascinating. I hope you do too. Thank you, Laura, for providing so much information and for introducing me to a national monument I never knew existed.

If you know me well, you know I love cats, so I have to include two cat pics. As I was typing my blog, I happened to look over at a box on the floor. Here's what I saw...

Sunnie had been sleeping under the box.
You may wonder how an 18-pound cat gets under that box. Well, he sticks his head into the small opening and lifts the box up. Then he has a really nice hidey-hole.

Bowie not wanting to be left out of the photo.
Travel Bug out.


18 comments:

  1. Interesting! Yes you are right - I didn't know about this one.

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  2. Very interesting ... those facts about the dogs are interesting. Mui knows Lackland well as he did his basic training there.

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    1. Yes, I was thrilled to discover this place. Does Mui ever want to go back to Lackland having done basic training there?

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  3. I may have to miss that one as I still have bad memories of my days in Basic Training at Lackland back in the day...

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  4. Count me among the ones who had no clue about this. I'm really glad to find out about it and see your pictures. I am SO glad they changed their policy about leaving the dogs behind. How cruel. Love the fact that the dog is a superior officer. I think they are actually superior to us in many ways especially in forgiving and steadfast love. Great post!

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    1. I'm glad I could provide info about a new national monument. Laura enjoyed it so much. I was happy she mentioned it.

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  5. What a fascinating monument. I wonder why it took so long to try tribute to these working dogs? Glad they are now getting recognized.

    We love cats too. Bella brings so much joy to our day.

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    1. It doesn't take long to visit this national monument, but it is nice to learn about the working dogs. When I was in high school we had a German shepherd, Max, who was overly protective of us. We called the Army dog handlers and Max ended up working for the Army.

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  6. Love the dog monument. We also love going to different military bases and checking out the planes on display. There are many great museums around the country that have great ones to view. The airplane Boneyard in Tucson is also amazing.

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    1. The Boneyard in Tucson is on our list!

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  7. Wow what an interesting post. Who would have thought, a national monument to Military Working Dogs. Thanks for sharing that with us.

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    1. You're welcome. We have to thank Laura too because otherwise I never would have known this place existed.

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  8. I enjoyed walking around all the planes on Lackland's parade field, especially the B-29 which was the aircraft my dad worked and flew on. But I missed the MWD monument. I'll make sure to seek it out the next time we're there.

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    1. Were you last there after October 2013? That's when it was unveiled.

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  9. Thanks for the interesting information. I had no idea dogs were used so extensively by the military.

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    1. Yes they are and apparently have been for quite some time.

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  10. Ohh such an interesting memorial! I never knew about it, thanks for sharing!

    And your kitties felt you were giving too much attention to the canines while you were typing, so they had to make up for the feline contingent of the world! LOL

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
    Karen and Steve
    (Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard
    http://kareninthewoods-kareninthewoods.blogspot.com
    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

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  11. Yep, the kitties must have their publicity. LOL

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