United States War Dog Association (USWDA) was established in 2000 by 5 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 found a common bond through K-9 and formed an organization to honor war dogs; past, present, and future. USWDA started with a mission of raising money to dedicate a memorial to honor the legacy of war dogs.
The USWDA Memorial was dedicated in 2006. During this time, military working dog teams started deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan so, a new mission was born, support the current dog teams through care packages. Throughout the years, USWDA established new programs to fill in gaps of much needed support to the K-9 community and it typically was initiated from a conversation with current dog handlers. The shared bond between a nonprofit ran by dog handlers and the dog handlers currently serving was instrumental in the growth and development of USWDA.
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