Written by Australian Dog Lover 14:07:00 - 0 Comments
Did you know that as well as the traditional red poppy worn to mark the Armistice Day of 11 November 1918, there is now also the purple poppy, remembering animals that died during conflict.
To commemorate all the animal deeds and sacrifices in war, the Australian War Animal Memorial Organisation (AWAMO) has issued a purple poppy, which can be worn alongside the traditional red one.
Just like other countries including the United Kingdom, people are encouraged to wear the purple poppy alongside the traditional red poppy as a reminder that both humans and animals have and continue to serve.
Dogs have a long history of service during times of conflict.
Today, the use of military dogs in the ADF (Australian Defense Force) is actually increasing. This is primarily due to the Military Working Dogs (MWD) and Specialist Explosive search dogs being used to combat terrorist activities in both Homeland Defence and offensive operations.
The Australian War Animal Memorial Organisation
Throughout our nation's history in theatres of combat around the world, animals have served and protected members of Australia's Armed Forces.
AWAMO is a volunteer organisation made up of community members from diverse backgrounds that have the like-minded aim to recognise the deeds of animals during Australian military service and to educate the next generation of Australians to understand the sacrifices of our four legged diggers have made.
Funds raised from donations and the sale of purple poppies are used by AWAMO to establish memorials around Australia and overseas, in places like France and Gallipoli in recognition of the sacrifice animals have made in the aid or comfort of defence personnel.
We all remember the story of Simpson and his donkey, and horses carried our soldiers across the veldt in the Boer War. It is estimated that of the approximately 400,000 horses that left Australian shores to war, only one was ever returned. Even one of our most famous animal icon, Simpson's donkey was never brought home.
The very first time Australian war animals have been allowed to return home was as late as 1993 from Somalia. Animals continue to serve in places like Afghanistan, where explosive detection dogs and their handlers work the frontline and animals have helped soldiers cope with post-traumatic stress.