to Fallen Military WAR K-9s
& including 2001
are sent to all Military War Dog handlers by the F.A.S.T. Company
1 of 2
to page 2 of War Dog Memorials
In Loving Memory
May 23, 1997
Ft. Riley, KS
A tribute to TY
is Warren Neff and I am an officer with the Overland Park Police Dept.
in Kansas. I was directed to your site by Officer Robbie Fischer
who is a handler with our department. I am a former Military Police Dog
Handler and I really appreciated your article on "Robby." The
Malinois that sparked the bill to save these soldiers. I wish
that I knew where I put my picture of my Partner Ty so I could send it
to you. I'll keep looking. I
just wanted to let you know what happened to him.
8 years of serving his country and 3 years protecting me, Ty died on the
the 23 of May, 1997. We were stationed at Ft. Riley Kansas
which is next door the Kansas State University. Once Ty passed on
he was sent to the K-State Campus for up and coming veterinarians to "experiment"
on. My K9 supervisor, Sgt. Charles A. Mailloux, as well as the rest
of us, were very upset with this choice. Sgt. Mailloux took
this upon himself and took issue through the chain of command. He was able
to have Ty returned to his post and he received a semi proper burial with
a nice looking headstone in the Pet Cemetery on Ft. Riley. He was
not buried with the rest of the fallen soldiers in the cemetery, but at
least he was not used for training at that school. During his burial ceremony,
a fellow soldier, SPC Eric Von Yahn, composed the following and wanted
to share it with you. It' s not a whole lot but, it meant a lot to
me, Ty's last handler.
10 - 7
first met "Ty" in October of 1996, he was a very happy dog with a personality
all his own. "Ty" had two missions to fulfill in his life.
His first first was to aid in the apprehension of people who broke the
law and his second mission was to provide an undying loyalty and sense
of protection to his handler. Ty was a truly usable and essential
member of the law enforcement activity on Ft. Riley. I stand
before you today, to say that Ft. Riley has lost a committed, energetic,
and professional soldier through the death of "Ty". A soldier who
dedicated his life to law enforcement and country above all else. You may
see our K-9 vehicles on Patrol late at night or in the early morning hours.
If you look close and the light is just right, you can see a wagging tail
or the face of our partners. It is often said K-9 handlers and their
partners "OWN THE NIGHT." I think it's safe to say that as the sun
goes down, that this evening "Ty" has earned the right to own the night
for taking the time to read this, I love the site, I appreciate the
work, and it is really nice to see someone render the proper respect to
these officers and soldiers, that are too often forgotten by those who
haven't handled them.
- January 19, 2001
Corporal Shawnn Manthey
& Back of laminated card to honor ROBBY.)
service was held in
24, 2001- Sunday - 1 PM
the entire story about "Robby"
CHANGED THE LAWS
WAR K-9s in USA.
say he is just another dog
served his master well
on his fate of euthanasia
should not dwell
once a life was his to save
now our turn to try
him back some happiness
you will not let us---Why?
say he is U. S. property
when his job is through
die, he cannot go home
is nothing you can do
is God spelled backward
just like his son
now forgive you
you know not what you have done.
POEM ON CARD
I'm coming home at last
my weary head.
among the apple trees
hope to have some green grass
plenty there it's said
during life I only heard
that many years ago
Johnson felt it wise
gave a final resting place
in doggie Guise.
of us were family pets
some worked for mankind
each of us was special
hard to leave behind.
not be alone at all
truly I'm not dead
merely napping waiting for you
poems by Janis Dibert)
was born in central Europe. He had his basic training at Lackland A.F.B.
for 2 years, then worked with Marines at Quantico, VA. He saw partners
come and go, but his last partner was LCpl. Shawn Mathey. He trained at
least 2 hours a day. Photo was taken by Sgt. Mikay Niman.
Loving Memory of
February 22, 1968
June 25, 1985
is, believe it or not, one of the best pictures of Shadow that I ever took!
This one is suitable for your page, I believe! In this picture, she
was just turning six. I have also included the "Tribute to Shadow" although
the first of it was originally written by a Senator, the last two stanzas
are uniquely mine.
keeps in touch with email
Tribute to Shadow
one absolutely unselfish friend
I have found in this selfish world;
one who has never proven to be
or treacherous, who has
deserted me, is Shadow.
has stood by me in prosperity
as well as sickness.
has slept on the cold ground
the winter winds blew and the
drove fiercely; if only to be
by my side.
has kissed my hand when
no food to offer.
has licked the tears, wounds and sores
came from our encounters with
roughness of the world.
guards my sleep as though
all other friends departed,
remained close to my side.
my riches took flight and my
lay in pieces,
remained as constant in her
for me as the sun in itsí
through the heavens.
George Graham Vest
rest in peace and run in freedom,
in the warmth of the sun
wanting for naught;
I shall cross the river
we may walk together again;
my Darling, go in peace and
your tour is done.
join you, Shadow;
my work is done and
to rest has come.
Loving Memory of
J. Haines III Air Force
Reno from 1994 to 1997. He was whelped November of 1988, and his brand
number was 163P. Reno expired in March of this year. He had an irregular
heartbeat and expired while under anesthesia.
first met Reno in early 1994 when I was stationed at Tinker AFB, in Oklahoma
City, Oklahoma. My first impression was he looked so intimidating because
he was so large, being 105 lbs. I quickly learned that despite his training
as an explosive detector dog, he was just a big, happy puppy at heart.
We learned each others personalities in short order, and formed a bond
that will never be broken. Our first real away mission from the base was
to Dallas, Texas, for the World Cup Soccer Games of 1994. For 45 days we
provided explosives detection support to the Dallas PD. Daily we searched
the Cotton Bowl Stadium and it's surrounding buildings, with several other
K-9 teams, to make them safe for the games. Texas, being Texas, it was
hot, real hot. To get around the large complex, we used golf carts. Reno
especially liked riding around on the passenger seat of the carts because
he got to feel the wind in his face as we sped about the grounds. One day,
during one of our searches, Reno discovered the set of elaborate fountains
just outside the stadium, and dove in. It was just deep enough for him
to sit in and still have his head above water. This became a daily ritual,
and I could see the look of anticipation on his face every time we approached
that fountain! He was in heaven! Once back in Oklahoma, we fell back into
our daily duties of policing the base. Reno would sit in the back of the
patrol car and keep watch as we went around the installation. We would
walk through the many large buildings on base, and Reno became a welcome
sight. He was very friendly with people, and all who met him enjoyed his
visits, so much so people would forget my name, I was just called, "Reno's
handler". Reno and I shared all of our time together at work, and on my
days off I would come in and take him out just to play. We even jogged
together, he could easily do 2 miles, which couldn't always be said for
his handler. We also trained with the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Bomb Squad
and they quickly learned how talented Reno was. Captain Heady of the bomb
squad began to ask for Reno by name when they needed help off base with
bomb threats. We were on 24-hour recall, and during my time at Tinker,
Reno and I searched countless businesses, schools, and public buildings.
Later, during the Oklahoma City Bombing, Reno and I were called into action,
arriving downtown at 0930 hrs, and Captain Heady put us to work clearing
buildings and cars for additional explosives. The glass on the ground had
become so thick in some places it looked like snow. Reno had no problem
with me throwing him around my shoulders and carrying him from spot to
spot. After April 19, we were assigned to the U.S. Marshals for 30 days
to provide further explosive support for the ongoing rescue, and the recovery
the bombing Reno and I were sent on many Presidential support missions
in such places as Arkansas, Iowa, Illinois, Texas, and Oklahoma itself.
These were the "cush" missions, as the Secret Service kept both Reno and
I in nice hotels during our stay. Reno loved having his own bed, and he
would always choose his bed first, I got the one he didn't want. We got
to go to many of the sites the President was going to be at and clear them
of explosives, it was always a good time for the both of us.
to offset the luxury of the Presidential missions, it was inevitable that
a real world military mission would come up. In 1996 we were sent to Saudi
Arabia in the wake of the Kobar Barracks bombing, which killed several
of our fellow airman. We were redeployed to the country of Qatar, just
west of Saudi, where we worked round the clock searching everything coming
onto the base. After 2 months of 120 degree heat and living in a tent,
Reno and I were redeployed back to Saudi, to the dubious luxury of a newer,
larger tent in 110 degree heat, where we spent an addition 2 months searching
for explosives. As homesick as I was, it was comforting to know Reno was
there by my side, oblivious to the political climate we were in and just
happy to be with me. He was such a great conversation partner, he would
listen intently to my daily woes, never interrupting, and always went along
with my suggestions. I don't care what other people say, in their own ways
dogs do understand what we say to them. Living, sleeping, and eating with
Reno 24 hours a day, 7 days a week made me a believer.
settled down upon our return to Oklahoma, and we went back to our now mundane
daily duties. Unfortunately only a month after being back, Reno suffered
a gastric torsion, in which a dog's stomach flips over inside, and is fatal
if not corrected immediately. Our military vet was away, so I rushed Reno,
lights and sirens, off base to a waiting animal hospital. After a tense
few minutes, the vet was able to stabilize him, but not before damage was
caused to his spleen, which had to removed. For two weeks, I visited him
everyday in the hospital, and nothing beat the feeling of seeing his joy
when I came. As sedated as he was he would try to get up to greet me, the
just lay there and wag his stub as I talked to him. He quickly recovered,
and we went back to work again. But time had caught up with us, and as
much as I loved him, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career outside the
military, back in my home state of New Jersey. As our time together grew
short, I heard about the new bill that was being considered in Congress
which would allow handlers to adopt their dogs. I took up the matter within
the military, but found that the military really wasn't interested in the
bill, and was actually somewhat hostile to the whole idea. I was told conflicting
statements by different people, and outright lied to by others. I decided
to look outside the military for help. I heard about the Volunteers for
Animal Welfare group in Oklahoma City and attended one of their meetings,
where I met a very special lady, Cynthia Armstong. After telling her about
the my plight, and how the military never retired their dogs, just put
them to sleep, she set out to do everything she could to help us. Letters
of support came in from senators, representatives, and the Governor of
Oklahoma himself, Frank Keating, pledging their support. Sadly the military
continued their resistance, again stalling people, making up absurd stories
of ex military dogs going insane and killing people, and just plain lying.
They claimed Reno was no more than a piece of equipment, and had about
as much feeling as an F-16 fighter plane, and that just like when the plane
was no longer needed, Reno too would be destroyed. As a final gesture,
I asked to be notified when Reno passed away, so I could at least provide
a small memorial to him at the local pet cemetery in Spencer, Oklahoma,
where other workings dogs had been buried. The effort to save my partner
continued long after Reno and I parted, Mrs. Armstrong never giving up.
I moved back to New Jersey and bought a house, and became a police officer.
In July of 2001, Mrs. Armstrong called me with the excited news that the
military many be close to letting me adopt Reno. But only 2 days later
she found out the sad truth that Reno had passed away in March while undergoing
surgery in Texas. He was twelve years old. It was like losing a family
member, and I had really envisioned him lying in the shade under one of
the large shade trees on my lawn. I know Reno, he'll find shade where ever
he is, even in heaven. If anything good can come out of the whole affair,
it is that the laws are slowing changing, and the military will have to
be held responsible for their mistreatment of their dogs. The more the
public learns about the military's K9 program, the more they will demand
it be changed. Hopefully they will also change the status of these four
footed soldiers back to living, breathing creatures, and not just equipment.
They deserve it.
Kim are almost neighbors in S. Jersey. AJ is an officer
the Mt. Laurel PD
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