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NEW YORK (AP) - After raising money to help victims of last year's terrorist attacks and other causes, the Vietnam Veterans of America found they still had "a few bucks left," so they bought a dog. Not just any dog, but one of the hundred or so plastic DOGNY statues that are being placed around New York City by the American Kennel Club, commemorating the search and rescue dogs of ground zero. The veterans' dog, gussied up in camouflage combat gear, was placed in the lobby of the Veterans Affairs hospital in Manhattan, where it was dedicated Monday to honor the 4,000 scout, sentry and tracker dogs and their military handlers who served in the Vietnam War. The statue depicts a dog clad in camouflaged helmet and poncho, web gear, canteen and boots, with a "K-9" dog tag around its neck. Of the dogs that served with U.S. forces in Vietnam, about 280 were killed in action. Unlike the original K-9 Corps dogs of World War I and World War II, the rest of them did not return home. Concerns about disease and readjustment mandated that they be put down.
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