Former Cpl. Megan Leavey pets Military Working Dog Rex during his retirement ceremony and adoption at Camp Pendleton’s K-9 unit, April 6. Leavey, who was previously Rex’s handler, had written a letter to Congress requesting to adopt Rex since he was being forced to retire due to facial paralysis. Rex served in three combat deployments and provided over 11,575 hours of military working dog support consisting of over 6,220 vehicle inspections during random anti-terrorism searches. Rex was constantly put in harm’s way during multiple firefights, mortar attacks and improvised explosive devices during Operation Iraqi Freedom. (Photos by Cpl. Michelle Brinn)
Many of you have asked so I wanted to close the loop on this one. SGT Rex retired and is home with Megan.
If you want to read about some of SGT Rex’s exploits in Iraq check out the Read More »
According to the Cape Breton Press in 2010, “Of the 138 Canadian soldiers who have died during the Afghan mission, more than 120 were killed by IEDs or land mines, including one that killed five soldiers and a Canadian journalist.”
Remember when I asked you Are Dog Teams Hired Guns? That post was in a different context but still relevant because it is true. Dog teams can easily (relatively speaking) integrate into foreign units and effectively save lives. This happens every day in Afghanistan and I know that many handlers feel like hired guns. But I digress.
The Canadian Army went out and hired some “Paws” and some handlers. Here is what the American Company, … Read More »
Wonderful News! A friend of the site, Frankie Taylor Fisher, is out at Camp Pendleton California this week. She is welcoming home her son, Marine Joey Taylor
Joey is redeploying from the treacherous Sangin Valley, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Returning with Joey is his best pal, Improvised Explosive Detector Dog Thor.
Yeah I know right… a couple weeks ago I gave you and an Ace and now this week I present to you a Thor!
Thor, the dog, I mean the god of thunder and protector of mankind! He doesn’t need a hammer….he is a hammer!
Welcome home, Joey and Thor!
In case you missed or want to revisit prior weeks photos. Here are the links.
Last Friday on my Facebook page I posted breaking news about the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act. The act, which was incorporated into the house version of the National Defense Authorization Act, passed the House of Representatives handily.
This is wonderful news, but it is NOTover yet! Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act is far from being reality. The next step for the bill is parallel legislation in the Senate.
According to www.Govtrac.us, the bill only has a 4% chance of passing the Senate. (It should be noted that they gave the bill a 2% chance of passing the House, so we have doubled our odds!)
The bottom line, though, is that the fight to get this bill passed isn’t over.
Our military dogs don’t have a voice. They need you to contact your senators to tell them that … Read More »
The Army is a results-oriented organization:
How many pushups can you do in two minutes?
Fix that truck. We need it for mission.
Secure that supply route.
Rebuild that police station.
Rebuild the Afghanistan National Army.
I think sometimes folks get caught up in the results and forget what is important: the people that get you these results.
An incredibly smart man once told me, “Kevin, the Army will chew you up and spit you out. It will forget about you the day you leave. You’re replaceable and your accomplishments will be outdone by someone else eventually and thus forgotten.”
I was befuddled by the words spoken by a man from whom I deeply respected and thought was a career professional officer.
I asked, “What do you mean, Sir?”
He smiled and … Read More »
Hmmm, who do you think is doing more work? This was taken during the grueling Iron Dog portion of the DOD K9 competition, on Day 3, of TSgt Larry Brown and MWD Ooakley (a puppy program dog!), representing the 341st itself! Check out this Mal’s mouth. It really goes allll the way back. It’s part of the reason Malinois are referred to as mailigators. A classic photo by my fabulous photog, Robin Jerstad. (Photo copyright Robin Jerstad)
No one quit, no matter how hard it got. Many were completely exhausted, many had to stop and catch a few breaths, but thanks to grit, determination, and encouragement, everyone stayed in the game. What an inspiration for all of us who have far easier tasks in life. I’m so proud of these teams! I want to use some of these photos as … Read More »
You may wish to read Part I, John and the Lumbering “Honza Bear”, of this series first before reading Part II below.
Specialist John Nolan looked down at the seven-year-old black lab. He put his hand out for her to sniff. He felt her wet nose and watched as she wagged her tail slowly. She sniffed him cautiously. John stroked her head. She nudged his hand with her snout. John knew she was satisfied with her investigation of him.
John looked over at his other pal, the yellow Labrador Honza, who was watching the meeting through his chain link kennel. Honza let out a groan as he stretched his front paws forward. He placed his square head down on them. He never took his eyes … Read More »
The complete IED detection team
Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division
Story by Cpl. Alfred V. Lopez
KHAN NESHIN DISTRICT, Afghanistan – A team of two jumped out of the vehicle as it came to a stop at a chokepoint on the road.
While Ace, an improvised explosive device detection dog, wandered around the vehicle, Cpl. Sean Grady, Ace’s handler and a pointman with Echo Company, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, began preparing his sickle and combat metal detector.
The pair then proceeded with what they do best: clearing a safe path for their fellow Marines.
They moved down the road in a carefully choreographed dance, methodically searching for the disguised and dangerous devices. Grady, a 27-year-old native of Otho, Iowa, launched Ace forward with an array of hand signals and verbal commands, while he swept the path with his CMD.
Grady’s choice to enlist in … Read More »
Pfc. Steven Olson, a dog handler with 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, and his dog, Alex, take a moment to enjoy an abundance of tennis balls. The Tactical Explosive Detection Dogs are calm and collected until they see a tennis ball. The balls, nearly 3,000 of them, were donated to the TEDDs team by a Family member taking donations. (Photo by Capt. Allie Scott/4th BCT, 82nd Abn. Div. PAO)
The 4th BCT, 82d Airborne Division TEDDs team handlers and dogs stand outisde their kennels 29 April 2012. They were waiting for the presentation of 3,000 donated tennis balls to their team. (Photos by Capt Allie Scott/4th BCT, 82nd Abn. Div. PAO)
Pfc Steven Olson prepares his Tactical Explosive Detection Dog “Alex” for mission. Alex is specially trained to detect explosive material which in turns … Read More »
In a prior post, What Not to Do When You’re Writing a Novel, I left you at the point where I had gone on a my first fishing trip for a literary agent and had snagged a big one.
Agent A of Trident Media requested a full submission within five minutes of my emailing him. He requested an exclusive (meaning I wouldn’t send it to other agents) and said he would get back to me within two weeks. I was elated. It was a dream come true. I had grandiose visions of being that one guy who bucked the arduous and agonizing querying process.