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.
Editor's Note: This article by Hope Hodge Seck originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.
In the wake of a heartwarming viral video that was featured everywhere from Good Morning America to the Daily Mail comes a disheartening revelation: The 84-year-old self-described Army nurse cranking out push-ups in her crisp Vietnam-era uniform might not be who she said she was.
Maggie DeSanti, allegedly a retired Army lieutenant colonel who rappeled out of helicopters in Vietnam, was captured in a video challenging a TSA agent to a push-up competition ahead of a flight to Washington, D.C., with the Arizona chapter of the organization Honor Flight on Oct. 16. The video soon was everywhere, and many who shared it, including Honor Flight, hailed DeSanti's toughness and spirit.
‘Nice girls don't join the military': New commander of Air Force refueling squadron proves her critics wrong
The summer before sixth grade, Cindy Dawson went to an air show with her father and was enamored by the flight maneuvers the pilots performed.
"I just thought that would be the coolest thing that anybody could ever do," she said, especially having already heard stories about her grandfather flying bombers during World War II with the Army Air Corps.
So by the first day of school, she had already decided what she wanted to be when she grew up.
We salute the 93-year-old WWII veteran who refuses to retire, and opened up a 'boozy bakery' instead
Peach schnapps, sex on the beach, and piña colada may be familiar drinks to anyone who's spent an afternoon (or a whole day) getting plastered on an ocean-side boardwalk, but they're also specialty desserts at Ray's Boozy Cupcakes, Etc, a bakery in Voorhees, New Jersey run by a 93-year-old World War II veteran named Ray Boutwell.
A former senior Coast Guard official has been accused of shoplifting from a Philadelphia sex shop.
Rear Adm. Francis "Stash" Pelkowski (Ret.) was accused of stealing a tester item from Kink Shoppe on Oct. 8, according to an Instagram post by the store that appeared online two days later. In the post, which included apparent security camera footage of the incident, a man can be seen looking at products on a counter before picking up an item and placing it in his pocket before turning and walking away.
The Instagram post identified the man as Pelkowski, and said it wished him "all the best in his retirement, a sincere thank you for your service, and extreme and utter disappointment in his personal morals."
SAN DIEGO —The Marines say changes in the way they train recruits and their notoriously hard-nosed drill instructors have led to fewer incidents of drill instructor misconduct, officials told the Union-Tribune.
Their statement about training followed an Oct. 5 Washington Post report revealing that more than 20 Marines at the San Diego boot camp have been disciplined for misconduct since 2017, including cases of physical attacks and racist and homophobic slurs. The story also was published in the Union-Tribune.