Gary Jacobson

WAR DOGS

Lance Corporal Ralph H. McWilliams and Major
Lance Corporal Ralph H. McWilliams and his scout dog Major, Vietnam, November 1967
War dogs are mighty dogs
To Vietcong pariah dogs
Sent to hunt men in rotting jungle overgrown
To ferret out unseen killers by hatred sown
These powerful combat beasts canine
With ultra-keen sensitivity sublime.

War dogs ply the dark tangled wood of Vietnam
Weapons of superior detection for their man
Knifing through fevered jungle serpentine
Rooting out shadowed enemies clandestine
Bearing enhanced senses with stealth and cunning
Bearing innate acuity of smell, sight and hearing.

Riding the whirlwind and directing the storm
War dogs live to the mission of their master sworn
To expose vile enemy snipers lying in ambush
Hiding in wait-a-minute brittlebush
Plumbing inky dark for dusky intruders
Sneaky ‘n slithery as two-step adders.

War dogs seek in wars motley-hot combat fray
Angry men avowed to ruin the whole day
Ever alert to scent bearing avarice
Their duty to hound Viet Cong assiduously
To harry persistently
To probe the Vietcong den consistently.

War dogs patrol with uncanny obedience
Bearing innate primal patience
To root out the nefarious enemy in tunnels
Responding to voice and body signals
To detect deadly wicked mines and booby traps
That vaporize men’s souls in war-game craps.

War dog’s stand vigilant guard…
Living only to serve well and diehard
Time and time again save GI asses
From sure death lurking in tall elephant grasses
Searching for hidden weapon and enemy masses
Sniffing out food and medical caches.

War dog’s persistently dogged
Possess a willingness to serve undaunted
To their handlers dedicated
Their attitude loyalty personified
Willingly go into dark of jungle not easily penetrated
Brave knotted entanglements not easily crossed.

War Dog’s Semper Fi…
Will never say die ~ never stop to ask why.
Ever enduring, to trainers with love endearing
Persistently persevering. Tenaciously unflinching.
Man’s best friend…
Who will for him the very darkness rend.

Vietnam War Dogs
Scout dogs were trained for jungle combat in a twelve week course that started with obedience and then taught voice and body signals. They were trained to alert differently for the scent of a living person or an inanimate but unfamiliar object. There was specialized training for daytime or night scouting, detecting tunnels, mines, trip wires and booby traps, and guard duty
Vietnam War Dogs
In 1966-67 Police Field Force K-9 teams accompanied joint U.S. and Vietnamese units conducting cordon and search operations in Military Region IV. Part of team composed of six Police Field Force members and a security element of men from the 199th light Infantry Brigade