On Friday, Oct. 27, 2023, a committee led by the Airman Heritage Foundation and its Military Working Dog (MWD) Advisor to the Board, Mr. Christopher Dion (Bandera Texas American Legion Post 157 Chaplain) commemorated the 10-year anniversary of the unveiling of the U.S. Military Working Dog Teams National Monument located at Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA)-Lackland in San Antonio, Texas. This committee consisted of members of the 502 Air Base Wing, 37 Training Wing, the Department of Defense MWD School, the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps., the USAF Security Forces Center and The TSA Canine Training Center.
This monument is a one-of-a-kind national treasure that was created as a result of the leadership of retired Army Master Sergeant John Burnam, a highly decorated Vietnam Scout Dog Handler and Airborne Infantryman. His efforts began in 2001 as the President of the Vietnam Dog Handlers Association and continued on with the creation of the John Burnam Monument Foundation. This foundation and its subsequent national monument were approved by a Congressional act sponsored by NC Representative Walter B. Jones and signed into law by both President George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
In 2013, the dream became a reality as this national monument was unveiled in grand manner on JBSA-Lackland and gifted to the USAF on behalf of the American people. Part of this monument includes the Not Forgotten Fountain which depicts John Burnam and his scout dog, Clipper, in a brief moment while in the fields of Vietnam where John is giving Clipper water poured from his canteen into his helmet. This fountain was created as part of the monument to honor all of the military working dogs of the Vietnam War who died or were left behind based on their classification as military equipment.
The anniversary event was attended by more than 200 dignitaries and K-9 handlers from all eras. It was also acknowledged by U.S. Representative Chip Roy and U.S. Senator John Cornyn. We welcome all comrades to come out and visit this amazing monument.