Today humans honor their veterans, the living and the dead; however, few remember to honor those who also served and serve, those four-legged veterans, many of whom gave their lives defending their human counterparts.
Everyone knows, or should know, that dogs are an integral part of today’s military, but few know that horses are an equally important part of today’s armed forces. Many of you might think that the military stopped using horses with the appearance of mechanized vehicles. Yet, there are still places in the world where our military serve and the terrain is not conducive to the use of tanks or even ATVs. Take Afghanistan, for instance: those narrow mountain paths can only be tackled on the back of a horse and, even though local horses were used, the soldiers needed to have first hand knowledge about them, skills that were taught at Fort Bragg where soldiers learned not only how to saddle and ride a horse, but also about herd management and common equine health issues. Unfortunately, the stables were closed due to budget cuts.
President Obama may have declared that “Horses and bayonets are obsolete”, but they both have a purpose in the current military. In an ever-changing world, horses till serve and will continue to serve with honor and distinction.