Buck, the War Dog 1991-2006
On March 28, 2006, Congressman Joe Wilson gave a tribute on the Congressional Floor to Buck the War Dog. Buck was honored for bringing awareness to people around the country of the sacrifices thousands of war dogs have made and continue to make.
Buck was a siberian husky, owned by Johnny Mayo, a veteran and a dog handler in Vietnam. Mayo wrote the book Buck's Heroes from Buck's point of view about the many war dogs who served during Vietnam. The Celebrate Freedom Foundation sponsored the book. It was dedicated to the 58,469 men and women whose names are etched into the black granite of the Vietnam Memorial.
Buck's heroes are the 4,000 military working dogs that served in Vietnam. The book is dedicated to the 3,800 war dogs that did not survive and died as a result of combat, disease, and military standing operating procedure.
Mayo's personal tribute is to his own two gallant scout dogs: Tiger-9A34 and Kelly-819A. Buck's mission was to help people of all ages understand the important role the dog handlers and their canine companions played and continue to play in saving the lives of soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen.
On March 18, 2006, many of Buck's friends joined him for his 15th birthday at the Animal Supply House. Buck bit into one of his cakes and enjoyed a cup of ice cream. A CD was playing showing his accomplishments. A wall was covered with pictures and newspaper clippings of his travels and his heroes. Buck died March 23, 2006.
Buck touched the lives of many. Because of him and Johnny Mayo, many people will never forget the dog handlers and their four legged friends who continue to have a special place in their heart.
From Buck's Heroes
Of the 250 Vietnam Era dog handlers in Washington at the 4th Vietnam Dog Handlers Reunion, Buck's long-time friend was the only one who brought his four-legged friend along to be part of the weekend event. Over the years, Buck had heard stories of his master's scout dogs in Vietnam. Tiger was killed in action. Kelly walked point and saved his master's life and the infantrymen who walked behind. Buck watched the handlers bow their heads in silence as they remembered their fallen comrades and the "best friends" they left behind.
And his mission began...