Tag: Military Working Dogs
With heavy eyes Sergeant John Nolan shuffled through the Norfolk Virginia Airport. A faded green, tan and brown camouflage pack weighed heavily on his sagging shoulders. His right hand tightly grasped a black leash.
John smiled when he saw us waiting for him.
The sergeant had just endured a journey half way around the world from war torn Afghanistan to the quiet and deserted Norfolk, Virginia airport this past Saturday evening.
On the end of the leash strolled a squarely build yellow Labrador Retriever. The Labrador had a black harness around his torso and the letters MWD emblazed on the side. It was Sergeant John Nolan’s partner, Specialized Search Dog Honza- aka Honza Bear.
Honza Bear pulled at the leash seemingly guiding the exhausted sergeant through the airport.
Their final patrol.
This was one last patrol for the pair on their yearlong deployment to Afghanistan. But this round would lead Sergeant … Read More »
Back on March 7, 2011 my post informed you that military working dogs are classified as equipment in the military and subsequently:
Retired Military Working Dogs are stranded at their final duty station.
Military Working Dogs receive no medical benefits after retirement.
Military Working Dogs receive no recognition for their faithful service.
I told you that this wasn’t the military doing….rather our politicians. I asked you to write your Congressmen and encourage them to support the Canine Member of the Armed Service Act.
You did and the act passed the House of Representatives in May.
Though we knew the struggle wasn’t over so I asked you to write to your Senators urging them to support this bill. You did.
This week the act passed the Senate and now our four- legged heroes are even closer to being considered members of the … Read More »
Did you know that the Department of Defense operates a military working dog breeding program?
aka The Puppy Program
The Department of Defense Military Working Dog Breeding Program was established in 1998. The Breeding Program (informally and affectionately referred to as the Puppy Program) provides an internal source of military working dogs to supplement the needs of the DoD. As adults, these puppies will be utilized for the detection of explosives and illegal contraband, specialized searching (land-mine clearing and locating weapons in war zones), Search and Rescue needs, and troop/asset patrol protection.
They will serve in all branches of our military. Some of the dogs not meeting the DoD requirements have gone on to work for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and law enforcement agencies throughout our country, serving and protecting our citizens and communities.
The Breeding Program selects and breeds … Read More »
This story provides great insight into the daily life of a dog handler deployed!
4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division
By 1st Lt. Jay Mohr
PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Deployments to Afghanistan force many soldiers out of their comfort zones. For many, it is the addition of stress caused by being in a combat zone. For others, it has to do with learning a completely different set of skills than the Army has prepared them for.
This is true for Staff Sgt. Shawn Martinez, who has previously trained as a howitzer section chief. On his current deployment, Martinez serves as a tactical explosive detection dog handler for Forward Support Company G, 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.
Martinez last served on the gun line for Battery A, 2-32 Field Artillery until he was sent to the dog handler’s … Read More »
Once outcast and shunned from the military dog community, Sergeant Daniel Sandoval had gotten a second chance. He was accepted into the Fort Bragg’s dog kennels unconditionally.
Daniel was paired up with the stubborn, oversized wolf dog, Military Working Dog Bony. He was excited for the challenge and worked on bonding with the experienced German shepherd.
His wife Sabrina had just given birth to their second son, Carver. This should have been one of the happiest times of Daniel’s life.
But it wasn’t.
Daniel was stressed to the max. His career and his family were seemingly on a crash course and giving him sleepless nights.
He needed to talk to his new kennel master, Staff First Class Webster, the same man who squashed any rumors … Read More »
U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Brandon Mann, a dog handler with Alpha Company, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, and native of Arlington, Texas, sights in with his infantry automatic rifle while providing security with Ty, an improvised explosive device detection dog, during a patrol here, Feb. 16. Marines and sailors with 1st LAR and India Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, conducted clearing and disrupting operations in and around the villages of Sre Kala and Paygel during Operation Highland Thunder. Marines with 1st LAR led the operation on foot, sweeping for enemy weapons and drug caches through 324 square kilometers of rough, previously unoccupied desert and marshland terrain. Mobile units with1st LAR set up blocking positions and vehicle check points while India Company, 3/3 conducted helicopter inserts to disrupt insurgent freedom of movement.
Three Marines with 3rd Platoon prepare for a patrol … Read More »
This isn’t my story but I thought it was really interested and wanted to share. It also mentioned our pal- Gabe the Hero Dog ! Canine Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) is a very real challenge we are facing with our four legged service members.
The dogs of war: saving lives but paying the price
Story by L.A. Shively
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – Can courage be measured in a canine heart? Can a dog actually be a hero?
Take Gabe for instance, a yellow Labrador Retriever who has three Army Commendation Medals and an Army Achievement Medal for finding explosives in Iraq. Actually, Gabe’s awards are not for finding weapons, ammunition, or bombs; but for saving lives.
How about Cairo, the Belgian Malinois that accompanied SEAL Team Six to Pakistan on the mission to kill Osama bin Laden? Cairo and the Navy SEALs were … Read More »
This Part IV of John and Honza Bear. If you haven’t already…..you may wish to read Part III: Warning: The Bear Has Been Poked or skip back to Part I: John and the Lumbering “Honza Bear” prior to reading this one.
As the Blackhawk got ready to take off, Army Specialist John Nolan heard Sergeant Celeste says, “You won’t find shit out there man. There is nothing to be found.”
“I guess that’s good,” John said. “I mean, no improvised explosives means no one is getting blown up, right?”
Celeste looked down at John’s Specialized Search Dog (SSD) Honza, a.k.a. “Honza Bear,” and smirked.
John couldn’t resist. … Read More »
Note: This is part two of the story. You may wish to read Part I prior to reading this piece.
At 5:00 AM Sergeant Daniel Sandoval’s alarm clock barely started buzzing before he clicked it off. He looked over at his pregnant wife Sabrina who hadn’t stirred.
“Good,” thought Daniel. “She needs her sleep.”
He’d been lying in bed, mind racing and deep in thought for the past two hours. Today was his first day back at the kennels in over three years. Today was the day he would meet a lot of the other handlers. Today was the day he started training with Military Working Dog Bony—Bony the Grey Wolf.
Had he lost his touch as a dog handler?
Would the rest of the handlers accept him?
Would he bond with Bony?
Three years was a long time to be away from the dog world. Of course … Read More »
Sergeant Noah Carpenter leaned up against a dirt-splattered tan Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle and sighed. He wouldn’t be in the relative protection of the MRAP today. No, today it would be he and his military working dog Chuck leading a foot patrol.
He had arrived at the remote camp a couple days before from the sprawling Bagram Airbase via Konduz Airfield. The small camp’s concertina-wired and dirt-berm perimeter was protected by battle hardened Unites States Army Paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division.
Noah didn’t worry about the Taliban attacking the perimeter. They would have to get through the paratroopers. What concerned him the most was the 30 Afghan policemen that lived in and … Read More »