Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Bomb-Sniffing Dog That Deployed To Iraq Twice Receives Full Military Honors
Camp Nelson National Cemetery will mark a first when it holds a public memorial service Saturday for a military working dog who served two tours in Iraq, sniffing out explosive devices.
Iireland, a female Belgian Malinois who died in August, will receive full military honors, including a 21-gun salute and the playing of taps, said Shawnda Ebert, a chief petty officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve who sought permission for the service.
Military working dogs “are veterans,” Ebert said. “They deserve the same treatment as our brothers and sisters who fought over there.”
Iireland couldn’t be buried at the national cemetery six miles south of Nicholasville. She is buried on a family farm, Ebert said.
Iireland and her handler, Joshua Sutherland, a Marine, were in Iraq in 2007 and 2008. “She was an explosive-detector dog, so any kind of explosive that could possibly be there, it was her job to sniff it out,” Ebert said.
When Sutherland came home, he was able to adopt Iireland. “These dogs become part of your family,” Ebert said. “They’re with you in times when your family can’t be. They’ve seen the same stuff you’ve seen.”
Ebert, who has participated in numerous military funerals, was asked by McCaw Veterinary Clinic in Nicholasville to see whether it was possible to have a military service for Iireland at Camp Nelson.
She said cemetery personnel were “completely” cooperative in working with her.
The 2 p.m. service, open to the public, will be held at a pavilion on the grounds of the national cemetery.
“We’ve got various canine units that are coming to support it, such as various police departments and military units,” Ebert said. The cemetery doesn’t allow pets onto the property, so the canine units “have to be a service dog,” she said.
American Legion Lexington Man o’ War Post 8 will provide the rifle detail for a gun salute. The Camp Nelson Honor Guard will have its horse-drawn caisson and will fire a cannon. The Marine Corps Military Police Company Alpha of Lexington will assist with flag-folding. Ebert’s husband, James, a lieutenant in the Navy Reserve, will play taps on trumpet.
Sutherland and Dr. Elizabeth Banks, the veterinarian who treated Iireland in her last days, will speak during the service.
Ebert said she couldn’t predict how many people will attend the service, but there has been attention through word of mouth and social media.
“The community has been extremely supportive of this,” she said. “I believe we’re going to have a rather decent, if not large, turnout just because this is so unique.”
Ebert cautioned that people should not bring their pets. “If I have not contacted them, they really shouldn’t be bringing their pets, simply because we’re having artillery fire and things of that nature. We don’t need dogs getting distressed, because we don’t need anything disruptive.”
© 2016 the Lexington Herald-Leader (Lexington, Ky.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
A former sailor who was busted buying firearms with his military discount and then reselling some of them to criminals is proving to be a wealth of information for federal investigators.
Julio Pino used his iPhone to record most, if not all, of his sales, court documents said. He even went so far as to review the buyers' driver's license on camera.
It is unclear how many of Pino's customer's now face criminal charges of their own. Federal indictments generally don't provide that level of detail and Assistant U.S. Attorney William B. Jackson declined to comment.
It all began with a medical check.
Carson Thomas, a healthy and fit 20-year-old infantryman who had joined the Army after a brief stint in college, figured he should tell the medics about the pain in his groin he had been feeling. It was Feb. 12, 2012, and the senior medic looked him over and decided to send him to sick call at the base hospital.
It seemed almost routine, something the Army doctors would be able to diagnose and fix so he could get back to being a grunt.
Now looking back on what happened some seven years later, it was anything but routine.
The US military now has to ask the Iraqis for permission before giving close air support to troops in combat
U.S. forces must now ask the Iraqi military for permission to fly in Iraqi airspace before coming to the aid of U.S. troops under fire, a top military spokesman said.
However, the mandatory approval process is not expected to slow down the time it takes the U.S. military to launch close air support and casualty evacuation missions for troops in the middle of a fight, said Army Col. James Rawlinson, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.
Army Spc. Clayton James Horne died in Saudi Arabia on Aug. 17, making him the eighth non-combat fatality for Operation Inherent Resolve so far this year, defense officials have announced.
Horne, 23, was assigned to the 351st Military Police Company, 160th Military Police Battalion, an Army Reserve unit based in Ocala, Florida, a Pentagon news release says.
The soldier who was arrested for taking an armored personnel carrier on a slow-speed police chase through Virginia has been found not guilty by reason of insanity on two charges, according to The Richmond-Times Dispatch.
Joshua Phillip Yabut, 30, entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle — in this case, a 12-ton APC taken from Fort Pickett in June 2018 — and violating the terms of his bond, which stemmed from a trip to Iraq he took in March 2019 (which was not a military deployment).