The Upcountry History Museum located in Greenville, South Carolina not only has excellent permanent exhibits but also welcomes a variety of interesting changing exhibits. Once of which centers around man’s best friend.
Beginning October 30th, this local museum will be host to the exhibit “War Dogs: Never Above You, Never Below You, Always Beside You”. Ever since the American Revolution, all branches of the United States Armed Forces have included military working dogs in various roles although it wasn’t official until these hard-working canines began serving in World War II. In fact, according to the American Kennel Club, dogs have been used in combat as far back as 600 BC! Today, there are over 2500 dogs in active service throughout our military forces and this inspiring display tells the amazing story from past to present.
Included in this exhibition are life-size sculptures and painting, as well as many items on loan from the National Museum of the Marine Corps, the United States Navy, and the United States Coast Guard that highlight and share so many stories of bravery.
Dogs play integral parts in military operations domestic as well as overseas, as they are commonly trained to identify drugs, explosives, gasses, weapons, and even track enemies. These priceless companions help protect our men and women fighting and become partners, close as family, with their military handlers. Aside from their active service, the dogs also provide mental and emotional support in traumatic environments for service men and women, helping to combat PSTD that commonly affects service members serving in war. Typically German Shepherds and Labradors are most commonly trained for military roles, and their basic training is anything but! The dogs are put through rigorous training that starts as a young as 6 weeks old and lasts a year. Breeding is especially important when choosing dogs for service, and over 85% come from specific breeders in the Netherlands and Germany. Training a dog costs upwards of $150,000 before they are ready for their military careers to begin.
We highly encourage everyone to visit this exhibit and take a little time to learn about their crucial service, reflect on their impact & importance, and give thanks for the ultimate sacrifice many of our canine brothers have made.
The exhibit runs through February 27th, 2022. Advanced tickets are not necessary, just make sure to check the museum’s website for hours and COVID related updates before visiting. For more information about tickets, policies, and other exhibits, please click here.