In all previous wars we brought home our highly trained military dogs to retire with their handler or to continue to serve EXCEPT for Vietnam. When our military was ordered out of Nam our dogs were tied to camp poles and left to watch the soldiers they loved and protected walk away and not look back. Those dogs were considered to be excess baggage.
What happened to those dogs? Most were starved to death, used for target practice or skinned alive and eaten by the Viet Cong who considered them to be a delicacy. Rumor has it that those who weren't tied, or confined, ran behind planes, waited patiently beneath helicopters for their orders, and then, when they were completely exhausted, went back to their last camp and held vigil, patiently, for their handler to come back for them. (If you would like to learn more, click on the War Dog graphic. It will take you to a very sobering site.) Out of 3,000 war dogs in Vietnam, about 200 came home.
More war dogs and additional information can be found at my dog's blog, Loving for a Living.
God Bless our troops