See, I didn't know, not really, that dogs are stil considered "equipment" by the United States military. Never crossed my mind. Why would it? Dogs are alive. They aren't guns, they aren't boots. They're living creatures that people bond with and love. If a random Afghani street dog gets shipped back stateside, why wouldn't a military working dog like, say, Cairo?
(puppy Elka, with some Red, White, and Blue)
People get very touchy about their dogs, even if they aren't properly "theirs". If I work with, feed, and sleep with a dog for any extended period of time, but especially in a combat zone? I'm going to think of that dog as mine, not Uncle Sam's. I'm going to want that dog to be provided for when retirement comes, not left in a foreign kennel because he or she isn't in commission any longer. That's absurd to me. We ship veterans home. We ship wounded home. As stated, people find ways to transport strays they find home (which I don't object to, I'm just using as a point of comparison). Why not the dogs that we send there in the first place?
So, now there's S. 2134, the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act. This act, should it be approved/supported/voted for/whatever, will do things like allow a dog to be transferred to a military facility from which he or she will be more easily adopted, provide veterinary care for such dogs, and create military decorations for such dogs. The decorations part might not matter to the dogs, though you can see the way dogs act happy and perhaps "prideful" when they win at competitions, it would undoubtedly mean a lot for their handlers.
Really, I feel that the things that the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act lists are completely reasonable. I do feel that every dog deserves a home, especially a dog that has gone to war and served his or her country. I feel that those are dogs that we have an extra responsibility to, frankly. Veterinary care? Another no-brainer, in my eyes. So, how do American citizens support this bill? You can call or email your house Representative (contact info here), and call or email your U.S. Senator (contact info here), asking that they support this Act.