Memorials to Fallen Military WAR K-9s 
prior & including 2001
Donations are sent to all Military War Dog handlers by the F.A.S.T. Company
page 1 of 2
In Loving Memory of
K-9 "TY"
May 23, 1997

Partner, Warren Neff
Ft. Riley, KS

A tribute to TY
My name 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. 


After 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
I 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 eternally.

Thanks 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. 
 K-9 "ROBBY" 
Military Working Dog
Belgium Malinois
1993 - January 19, 2001 
 Lance Corporal Shawnn Manthey

(Front & Back of laminated card to honor ROBBY.)

Memorial service was held in
Hartsdale Pet Cemetery
Hartsdale, NY
June 24, 2001-  Sunday - 1 PM

Hartsdale Pet Cemetery

To read the entire story about "Robby" 
You say he is just another dog 
Who served his master well 
And on his fate of euthanasia 
We really should not dwell 
Where once a life was his to save 
It is now our turn to try 
To give him back some happiness 
But you will not let us---Why? 
You say he is U. S. property 
And when his job is through 
He must die, he cannot go home 
There is nothing you can do 
Dog is God spelled backward 
And just like his son 
He must now forgive you 
For you know not what you have done. 


Today I'm coming home at last
To rest my weary head.
To lie among the apple trees
In Doctor Johnson's bed.
I'd hope to have some green grass
There's plenty there it's said
And during life I only heard
Of Doctor Johnson's bed.
It seems that many years ago
Doc Johnson felt it wise
And gave a final resting place
To friends in doggie Guise.
Some of us were family pets
And some worked for mankind
But each of us was special
And hard to leave behind.
I will not be alone at all
And truly I'm not dead
I'm merely napping waiting for you
In doctor Johnson's bed.
(both poems by Janis Dibert)

Robby 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.
 In Loving Memory of 
 K-9 "SHADOW "
February 22, 1968
June 25, 1985

Thomas Johnston
Here 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.

Tom keeps in touch with email
A Tribute to Shadow
The one absolutely unselfish friend
That I have found in this selfish world;
The one who has never proven to be
Ungrateful or treacherous, who has
Never deserted me, is Shadow.
Shadow has stood by me in prosperity
As well as poverty. 
In health as well as sickness.
She has slept on the cold ground
When the winter winds blew and the
Snow drove fiercely; if only to be
Close by my side.
Shadow has kissed my hand when
I had no food to offer.
She has licked the tears, wounds and sores
That came from our encounters with
The roughness of the world.
She guards my sleep as though
I were a prince.
When all other friends departed,
Shadow remained close to my side.
When my riches took flight and my
Reputation lay in pieces,
Shadow remained as constant in her 
Love for me as the sun in itsí
Journey through the heavens.
Senator George Graham Vest

May Shadow rest in peace and run in freedom,
Resting in the warmth of the sun
And wanting for naught;
Until I shall cross the river
And we may walk together again;
Go, my Darling, go in peace and 
In freedom, your tour is done.
I will join you, Shadow;
When my work is done and 
My time to rest has come.
Thomas Johnston added

 In Loving Memory of 
 K-9 "RENO"
March  2001

Partner/Handler  "AJ"
Albert J. Haines III Air Force
I handled 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.
I 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 missions.

 Following 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.
I guess 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. 
Life 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.

AJ & Kim are almost neighbors in S. Jersey. AJ is an officer
with the Mt. Laurel PD

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