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The U.S. WAR DOGS Association is recognized by the IRS as both a non-profit and Veterans Group with a 501(c)19 status. Its Southern chapter is registered with the State of Florida. Donations both in-kind and monetary are tax deductible, and will be acknowledged to retain by the donor for income tax purposes. Donations are used to directly benefit the MWDs and K-9s that serve to keep Americans safe, secure and free.
When we pause to remember our Heroes, let us also remember our Heroes with Paws. They are the silent heroes that keep us safe, secure and free. They are the dogs of war, military working dogs on our bases, dogs that fight crime; they are Search and Rescue, and Recovery dogs that aid us in disasters and Arson dogs that detect causes of fire and Corrections dogs, Wildlife dogs, Customs and other Homeland Security protection dogs and Medical Service dogs that assist our veterans with mobility challenges and PTS.
The national LODD (Line of Duty Death) count is 2,346 Lost to date 8.31.15.
I also remember 3 other Hero dogs whose photographs prompted a tsunami of tears when their stories were made known. K-9 Constable Danny RCMP (Canada) sniffs the Stetson hat of his murdered partner, Constable David Ross. He could smell his scent and cried at the memorial service looking all around for him. He knew the ‘what’ but not the ‘why’ and neither do we - other than the killer took the lives of three constable officers wearing his camouflage outfit and boots and carrying his weapons; but he never went in any Army – he just preferred to kill the good guys. Then there’s K-9 Figo saying goodbye by placing his paw on the casket of his murdered partner Bardstown KY Officer Jason Ellis. Officer Ellis was ambushed by evil people who placed trash on the road and hid behind bushes waiting to kill the first person who stopped to remove the trash. Then there is MWD Jukon who served our Air Force in Iraq as an EDD Explosive Detection Dog and Patrol Dog. He was adopted by Judie Mindrum and passed away in retirement on 1.22.15 (End of Duty). He was the latest dog I had the Honor of awarding a war dog medal to a few days ago. He earned the medal for serving in combat in Iraq and saving lives.
I remember Tess. On April 4 2015, the K-9 and MWD world lost an amazing GSHEP soul – K-9/MWD Tess – a Human Remains Detection (HRD) dog. Her work took her into 8 countries including Iraq where she brought back the bodies of American soldiers so they could be buried with Honor on USA soil. She brought closure to many families in pain. Small in Body, but big in heart and performance; she did her job so well in Iraq that an Iraqie ‘general’ offered a bounty on her - 170K USA dollars in cash to anyone that brought him her ears. He failed in his offer as no one took him up on it. When I had the Honor of placing a War Dog medal over her head three years ago at the first Wild Dogs for War Dogs benefit Poker Run, the medal went over her beautiful ears. Her son, K-9 Aryck, pronounced (Eric) is taking over her work. Her handler is Al Dodds, a Vietnam veteran and (Sentry) dog handler. Both he and Tess brought stories and play time to the soldiers in Iraq in between her work. The soldiers said Tess reminded them of ‘home’ when they got to play with her as they don’t often interact with the EDD’s assigned to one handler. Al’s wife Sandie presents programs in local schools for children on the work of these Hero dogs. Thank you, Tess, for your service and to the Dodds’ family for giving me the privilege of knowing her. Her 12 years of life was dedicated to this important work and her life truly mattered. Tess will be forever missed, always loved and never forgotten. What a good girl you were and are. May you now Rest and Play in Peace. A true American Hero. End of Duty 4.4.15.
K-9 Constable Danny
American and Florida Hero
St Johns Sheriff’s Office, Florida
Faithful Friend and K-9 Partner/Companion to
Deputy Farrah Ashe
‘A bond never broken’
Years of Service LODD – May 2013 to October 2014
LODD - End of watch October 7, 2014
Drowned by Fleeing Felon
Specialty: Explosives Detection. Assigned to Patrol, Full Service Including Tracking and Apprehension of Criminals, Building Searches, Area and Article Searches, Handler Protection.
Recipient: Military Working Dog Service Award
Rest and Play in Peace K-9 Baron
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