Program on military service dogs presented at recent DAR meeting


The Pine Bluff Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution met recently at Pine Bluff Country Club.

Helen Campbell, program chairman for the Pine Bluff chapter, introduced Sandra Poore, who presented an interesting program entitled, “Service Dogs…No. 1 Aide to our Troops”.

Most members were unaware that military working dogs were part of Quartermaster history. Not long after the attack on Pearl Harbor, patriotic American citizens were asked to donate dogs to the military. A canine corp was established, and was limited to certain type of dogs. There were 19,000 dogs donated — 45 percent were rejected. There were six centers across the United States. The Quartermaster Corp trained the dogs and handlers and set up guidelines for the project. Basic training consisted of eight to 12 weeks. During World War II, 10,425 dogs completed training — 9,300 of these were sentry dogs.

In 1944 there were 15 platoons of dogs. Scout dogs led on patrols and could sense the enemy up to 1,000 yards away and therefore saved many lives. The Department of Dog Training still functions today. The Air Force is in charge of this program, but the Army and other military work together in using the dogs. German Shepherds and Dutch Shepherds are the breeds most widely used today. There is no limit to how many times a dog can be deployed.

The DAR Ritual was given. Poore led the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag, Ginnie Haertlein led the American’s Creed, and Jennifer Lowrey led the singing of the National Anthem.

A memorial service was given for Edna Earl Taylor. Carlton Taylor, Edna’s son, was in attendance and spoke of her leadership qualities and contributions to the community. Louise Doak paid tribute to Edna, stating that she was an active member of the Pine Bluff Chapter NSDAR for many years.

DAR Good Citizen winner, Tyler Stewart, a senior at St. Joseph’s High School, was as introduced by Regent Sue Smith. He was presented a Good Citizen certificate, pin and monetary token from the chapter. Tyler was accompanied by his mother.

Tiffany Chavies, a senior at Southeast Arkansas College, was awarded the DAR annual scholarship. She told of her future plans and thanked the chapter for its financial assistance.

The treasurer’s report was given by Donna Davis. Norma Caldwell gave the Flag Minute by sighting correct usage of the flag. Linda Schultz, American Indian chairman, presented a handout on the name “Arkansas” and its Indian origin. Betty Coles read the nominations for the Pine Bluff chapter officers for 2012-14. They received unanimous approval. Coles thanked the nominating committee for their work.

Smith made an announcement about the Arkansas Society State Conference, which was held March 22-24 at Little Rock with 11 members attending. It was explained the duties of the Pine Bluff and John McAlmont Chapter are part of the Wataseka District’s responsibilities as host district. Thanks were given to all who have worked toward making the meeting a success, with special thanks to Teri Bethege for designing the “thread” vases and ribbons for centerpieces for the table and the patriotic wreath for the auction. Both the John McAlmont and Pine Bluff Chapter were assigned to carry out duties for the meeting. Smith congratulated member Jennifer Lowrey on her daughter, Madeleine, receiving one of the state’s $500 scholarships to be presented at the State Regent’s breakfast.

It was announced that Claire Holmes and Smith attended the George Washington Birthday Observation luncheon on Feb. 22 at Hot Springs Country Club. The speaker was Chaplain Colonel Walter J. Smith. The program title was “George Washington – The Father of Military Chaplaincy”.

It was also announced that the April 17 meeting will be “An American Review” by Susan Brown. The meeting was adjourned.