Senator Bob Menendez Aims to Honor Military Dogs and Their Handlers


Harvey Bell
Harvey Bell

An MBA graduate of Texas A&M University, Harvey Bell is a New Jersey business executive. In addition to his professional endeavors, Harvey Bell is a strong supporter of U.S. Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey.

Recently, Menendez introduced legislation to create the first Department of Defense commendation for military working dogs and their handlers. Military dogs, who have been used in every American war, are responsible for life-saving military work that ranges from identifying bomb threats and locating illegal drugs to saving the lives of service members and civilians. The bid for formal recognition of the heroism of these service dogs and the military service members who lead them was first proposed by Menendez in 2016. The legislation was recently passed by both the Senate and House as a part of the fiscal year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act and is now awaiting President Trump’s signature.

Once signed into law, the commendation will be called the Guardians of America’s Freedom Medal and will be awarded to these unique K9 teams across all branches of the U.S. military. Menendez’s work in this area was supported by the president of the U.S. War Dogs Association, Ron Aiello, who has been petitioning for official recognition of military war dogs and their handlers for the past 12 years.