1. A vast majority of Capitol Hill briefings are pretty boring.
The people who show up for them either have to be there or accidentally wandered into the room and got stuck.
2. That’s why it was such a rare event Wednesday, to see an emotional, packed hearing room in Cannon Office Building.
And all were there to celebrate one thing…
3. …Warrior Dogs.
A Warrior Dog is a K-9 that has served in the U.S. military in wartime. Often these dogs were deployed along with men in uniform to combat zones. They have a diverse range of skills including patrolling, reconnaissance, and IED detection. Warrior dogs were instrumental in the killing of Osama bin Laden.
4. These dogs show up to the briefing impeccably dressed:
5. They have medals and service patches signifying valiant service in war zones.
6. “Heroes don’t wear capes. They wear dog tags.”
8. The U.S. military has credited dogs like these with saving countless lives on the battlefield.
9. Now, there is a huge push to reunite these dogs with their former military handlers so they can retire in peace.
10. In the briefing, veterans spoke, sometimes through tears, about their harrowing experiences in battle with their dogs…
11. …and the deep debts that they owe these animals….
A tattoo on the wrist of one of the Warrior Dog owners with the dog’s unit and name.
12. … and the overpowering joy of being reunited with their “partner.”
13. Army Sgt. Jason Bos and his bomb-sniffing dog Cila were reunited this April after more than 100 missions together.
15. Bos told BuzzFeed that Cila saved his life a “countless number of times” and protected his unit “every hour of every day.”
“I would not be here without Cila,” Bos said through tears.
19. Miller told BuzzFeed, “We both have PTSD. We both have trouble sleeping. We are like a support group for each other.”
20. Kathleen Habig’s Warrior Dog, Bagio, died a few months ago.
21. “I was depressed and could not sleep. My PTSD was so bad,” Habig said, “Once Bagio returned, he saved me. He saved my life.”
Habig is currently trying to get a bill sponsored that would allow Warrior Dogs to be buried in National Cemeteries.