Though the relationship between dogs and postal workers is historically fraught with conflict, the two communities came together to honor the nearly eight-decades-long service of military working dogs Friday morning.
Since the 1940s, military workings dogs have served alongside the U.S. Armed Forces, and now the U.S. Postal Service has dedicated four new stamps for their contributions over the years during a special event at Camp Pendleton.
“We've got a lot of things that represent and memorialize the military working dogs, but for the stamp to go national, international, it's been a long time coming,” said MSgt. Brian Burgess, the kennel master at Camp Pendleton. “I think they did a phenomenal job representing the military working dog."
The new Forever Stamps depict the four most common breeds that serve in the U.S. Armed Forces -- German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, Belgian Malinois, and Dutch Shepherd.
“Based on their history and how important they are with their military branches of service, and they shed and lose their lives as well, so it’s pretty important – pretty special for them,” said Eric Gilbert, manager of Post Office Operations for USPS.
While many dogs often serve to detect explosives and narcotics, Burgess said their full range of support is “indispensable.”
“These dogs, you know, they’re a visual deterrent, they’re force multipliers,” Burgess told NBC 7.
Burgess said even though the dogs can provide good emotional support for servicemembers, they try to keep their relationships professional so the K-9s can be ready to work any time, day or night.
“A good working dog is a dog that has abilities and drives to work. We’re not looking for a dog that sits in the house,” he said.
With a patriotic color palette, the four stamps depict the dogs in stoic poses.
The stamps are available online now or at San Diego post offices in mid-September, Gilbert said.