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Military Canines Honored With New Stamps; Unveiled At South Coast Base

You can hear the sounds of dogs barking at a unique kennel on the South Coast. These aren’t your typical pet dogs. These dogs at Naval Base Ventura County are military working dogs, trained to help with everything from finding a person to sniffing out explosives. Now, these military canines around the world are being honored with new U.S. Postal Service stamps, unveiled locally at in a ceremony at the base.

Base Commander Captain Jeff Chism says dogs have been a part of the military since the end of World War I. The dogs come to the base with some training, but then get specialized training before they are ready to go into work in the field.

Some of those who have worked with the dogs over the decades are thrilled the little known part of the military is receiving recognition.

John Hemp was teamed with a working dog in the late 1960’s, during the Vietnam War, and says the dogs were literally life savers, as they did things like helping to patrol the peremeter of bases looking for enemy soldiers.

The new Military Working Dog stamps are now available at local post offices.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral. 
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