Our C5BDI team is proud to contribute resources and funding to support the United States War Dogs Association (USWDA) as part of our ongoing Pay It Forward initiative. James Mershon recommended this cause, and we are grateful for his suggestion.

In 2000, the USWDA was founded by five dog handlers – Ron Aiello, Bucky Grimm, Bob Cicero, Bob Thompson, and Al Gunderson – who served in Vietnam. Representing the Marine Corps, Army, and Air Force, they formed the organization to honor war dogs’ legacy past, present, and future. The USWDA started with a mission to raise funds for a memorial to commemorate the service of war dogs, and in 2006, the USWDA Memorial was dedicated.



As military working dog teams started deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan, the USWDA’s mission shifted to supporting current dog teams through care packages. The organization has since established new programs to provide much-needed support to the K-9 community, initiated from conversations with current dog handlers. The shared bond between a nonprofit run by dog handlers and the dog handlers currently serving has been instrumental in the USWDA’s growth and development.



In its 21 years of existence, the USWDA has donated to or gifted K-9 memorials, shipped over 30,000 care packages to dog handlers serving overseas, and currently supports over 1,000 retired military working dogs through its prescription program. With new board members phasing in, including military dog handlers who served overseas, 2021 marks a significant transition year for the USWDA. We invite you to follow their journey and join us in supporting this exceptional organization https://www.uswardogs.org/.


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