LAYTON, Utah (ABC4) – The forgotten heroes of the Vietnam War never even made it home.
“We have four-legged heroes, and we have two legged heroes,” said Vietnam veteran Dennis Howland.
Those four-legged heroes, he says, are the war dogs who bravely did what they were told during the Vietnam War.
“We believe that had it not been for the dogs, we’d have 10,000 more names on the wall,” said Howland.
On Saturday, as dozens gathered around a memorial to honor war dogs in Vietnam, they stood near Layton’s existing Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall — which honors the nearly 60,000 Americans who died in the conflict.
The war dogs, Howland says, never got the return home they deserved.
“They were considered excess military equipment. So we left 4,000 dogs in Vietnam,” said Howland.
Volunteer Linda Crismer helped make the memorial possible.
“As far as we know, there’s no other place in the United States that there’s a permanent Vietnam Wall. And a permanent memorial to the dogs that died in Vietnam,” said Crismer.
“I just felt like it’s something that needs to be done.”