When Dave Bauer was serving in the Vietnam War, he worked alongside human and canine soldiers. When Bauer got injured on the battlefield, he became aware of the sacrifices of the war dogs.
"I was laying there in the hospital, and they were operating on me and when I looked over on the other gurney, they were operating on a dog," he says.
Bauer received a Purple Heart for his service and is now a Clark County Veterans Commissioner. In 2009 he began raising funds to construct the War Dog Memorial, which honors dogs who serve a in a variety of capacities.
"You see in the paper where a police dog sniffs out different stuff, and you've got your bomb dogs," Bauer says. "They use these animals for all different kinds of situations, and they just do an awesome job. I think they should've been recognized years ago, but they're recognized now and so are the dog handlers."
Last weekend dog trainers, K9 units and citizens gathered at Veterans' Park in Springfield for the unveiling of the memorial. Bauer hopes that it will be a physical reminder of the sacrifices made by service dogs and their handers.