$1 Million Grant Given to the John Burnam Monument Foundation
October 28, 2013
Sharon Fletcher, Director of Marketing & Communications
To celebrate military dogs and their service to our country, Maddie's Fund® helped to finance the design and construction of the country's first national monument to honor military working dogs. The U.S. Military Working Dog Teams National Monument depicts the love, devotion and unbreakable bonds between dogs and their handlers.
John C. Burnam, a highly decorated Vietnam Infantry Veteran Scout Dog Handler, is the founder and inspiration for the monument. He has never been able to forget the service dogs who were left behind when the troops pulled out of Vietnam. So it became his mission to construct a national monument to memorialize all war dogs so they will never be forgotten. When Maddie's Fund founders, Dave and Cheryl Duffield, heard about the project, they felt compelled to help.
"Dave and Cheryl were really touched when they heard about John Burnam's commitment to honor military dogs that have served our country," said Rich Avanzino, Maddie's Fund president. "Maddie's Fund is so excited to help bring awareness to these canine war heroes and the contributions our military personnel (two and four-legged) make each day on our behalf. John really opened our hearts and minds."
Maddie's Fund gave the John Burnam Monument Foundation $1,019,500 toward the construction of the monument. It features the four prominent U.S. Military working dog breeds, including Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever and Belgian Malinois. When trained, these particular breeds have incredible lifesaving capabilities during combat situations by detecting bombs, booby traps and enemy activity.
The monument also includes a nine-foot tall bronze dog handler who symbolizes all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces that have served with dogs in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and in Iraq and Afghanistan. Additionally, Maddie's Fund financed the Not Forgotten Fountain - a fully functional bronze water fountain.
The U.S. Military Working Dogs Team National Monument will be unveiled today at Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA) - Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. Today's dedication marks the first time in U.S. history that an animal has been elevated to national monument status by congressional law. The monument was sponsored by U.S. Representative Walter B. Jones, NC, and signed into law by President George W. Bush on January 28, 2008. The law was amended by President Barack Obama on October 28, 2009, authorizing the John Burnam Monument Foundation to design, build and maintain the national monument.
Visit www.jbmf.us for more information about the monument.
About Maddie's Fund
Maddie's Fund® is a family foundation established in 1994 by Dave and Cheryl Duffield and is the fulfillment of a promise to their inspirational dog, Maddie. She provided them much joy from 1987 – 1997 and continues to inspire them today.
The Foundation has awarded nearly $250 million in grants toward increased community lifesaving, pioneering shelter medicine education and establishing foster care as a standard across the U.S.
Maddie's Fund proudly offers the industry a national voice, important funding opportunities for bold ideas, learning resources and access to collaborate and share lifesaving ideas. The Foundation invests its resources in a commitment to keeping pets and people together, creating a safety net of care for animals in need and operating within a culture of inclusiveness and humility.