VFW Teams Up with Project K-9 Hero to Honor Military Dogs

Retired Air Force working dog Rosso receives inaugural certificate

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is proud to announce it is teaming up with Project K-9 Hero to recognize and honor the service of America’s military working dogs. With the VFW’s new Military Working Dog certificate, now every military working dog, past and present, can be rightfully honored for their service and sacrifice alongside the men and women of America’s armed forces. 

Project K-9 Hero, founded in 2016 by Jason Johnson, is a nonprofit that focuses on honoring these brave and dedicated working dogs when their military service is over by ensuring they receive the best health care and find loving homes, enabling them to live their best lives during their retirement.

“From detecting roadside bombs to search and rescue missions, military working dogs are true brothers and sisters-in-arms for our military men and women, working alongside them, protecting them, even making the ultimate sacrifice for them,” said VFW National Commander Fritz Mihelcic. “The work they do is invaluable, and the VFW is honored to work with organizations like Project K-9 Hero.”

VFW National Commander Fritz Mihelcic was on hand at Project K-9 Hero’s rehabilitation and rehoming facility in Whitwell, Tennessee, on Saturday, May 7, to present the first-ever VFW Military Working Dog certificate to retired United States Air Force working dog Rosso. During his career, Rosso was deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Spartan Shield where he was responsible for the safety of countless American soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen. He was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal at his retirement ceremony on Dec. 1, 2020, and has been living at Project K-9 Hero’s rehabilitation facility in Whitwell getting a second chance at life.

“Officially presenting the inaugural VFW Military Working Dog certificate to retired Air Force working dog Rosso was a true honor,” said Mihelcic. “His impressive military career is a true testament to the service and sacrifice of our nation’s military working dogs, and this certificate was a perfect way to honor and recognize his bravery.”

“Project K-9 Hero is extremely thankful to be teaming up with the VFW to recognize the service of our nation’s military working dogs who have risked their lives in combat areas,” said Jason Johnson, founder of Project K-9 Hero. “Together, we will highlight their selfless careers and spread awareness on how both of our organizations honor them for their faithful service to our country.”

The VFW and Project K-9 Hero believe that every canine, past and present, who has answered the call to serve in our nation’s combat zones deserves to be recognized, and so any canine who has deployed to a U.S. military combat zone is eligible to receive this one-of-a-kind VFW Military Working Dog certificate. To request a certificate, visit vfw.org/K9Hero to complete and submit the online application.