Monday, December 1, 2014
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Military monument goes to the dogs (with VIDEO)Comments 2 | 4
Five of military's finest were honored Friday with a retirement ceremony at the Air Force Armament Museum.
The ceremony was louder than usual, with an audience of the four-legged variety contributing to speeches and applause. But who could fault them?
The ceremony celebrated the careers of five military working dogs: Jacco, Deny, Blesk, Max and Marco.
It also honored K-9 units from law enforcement and the military with the dedication and unveiling of the museum's newest addition, a bronze monument.
"Faithful Partner - Guardian of the Night" was sculpted by Susan Bahary to honor and remember all working dogs, their handlers, trainers and veterinary staff.
"I hope ‘Faithful Partner -Guardian of the Night' does justice to all of our country's courageous and dedicated handlers and working dogs, and that it will be a source of healing and inspiration for generations to come," said Bahary.
"We owe a lot of dedication and support to dog teams," said Lt. Col. Timothy Meserve of Eglin Air Force Base. "They basically save people's lives."
"They're an invaluable asset to everything we're doing, both in the global war on terrorism and at home," added Maj. Keith Williams of Hurlburt Field. "Their impact is huge. Most people don't realize that."
Military dogs are trained to detect drugs and bombs. They also act as deterrents when on patrol.
"The way they detect it is with their nose. The way we detect it is by blowing it up," said Tech. Sgt. Rebecca Lind, Hurlburt Field's kennel dog master. "They're an invaluable tool in the field."
Most military dogs serve eight to 12 years before being adopted by military personnel.
"These dogs and handlers deploy as a two-person team to Afghanistan and Iraq and completely depend on one and other," said Kelly Hooker who headed fund-raising efforts for the $50,000 monument. "They have a strong bond - especially after deployment."
Volunteers worked for more than a year to bring the monument to the museum. They collected most of the $30,000 needed for the first phase of the monument from dog handlers nationwide.
Daily News Staff Writer Mona Moore can be reached at 863-1111, Ext. 1443
(Rickey & I were very happy to play a small part in helping with the adoption of MWD Lex to Fallen K9 Handler Dustin Lee's Family.)
Man's best friend receives top honor
Posted 2/19/2008 Updated 2/19/2008 Email story Print story
by Staff Sgt. Stacia Zachary
96th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
2/19/2008 - EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Military working dog handlers killed while supporting Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom were honored in a ceremony at the Air Armament Museum Feb. 16. Also remembered are the military working dogs injured and killed in the line of duty.
One dog in particular was the center of attention. Lex, a German shepherd military working dog veteran, received a commemorative Purple Heart medal for the injuries he sustained in combat. Nearly a year ago his handler, Marine Corps Cpl. Dustin J. Lee, was killed while Lex was critically wounded in a mortar attack March 21, 2007, in Fallujah, Iraq. Never leaving his fallen master's side until battlefield medics separated the pair, Lex survived the attack but still has shrapnel in his back. While deployed, Lex's primary role while serving in the Global War on Terror was a bomb sniffer.
Lex was stabilized after several surgeries and returned to Albany, Ga., where he continued to recover from his wounds including 12 weeks of physical therapy. Before the attack, Corporal Lee had plans of adopting Lex after he was retired from his seven years of service. Those plans quickly changed after the mortar attack and Lex instead found himself training new military working dog recruits.
Knowing their late-son's wishes, Corporal Lee's family petitioned for eight months for the right to adopt Lex into their family. With the help Vietnam-era working dog handler John Burnam, the recovering K-9 was finally adopted and sent home to live with Corporal Lee's family in Mississippi just in time for Christmas, Dec. 21, 2007. Lex is the first Marine Corps Military Working Dog to ever be retired into the care of the deceased handler's family.
"To look into Lex's eyes is like seeing Dustin's spirit with him," said Rachel Lee, mother of the late Corporal Lee. "Every day he brings happiness back to our family. He lets us play with him, care for him and love him and in a very big way, we are still able to love our son. Having Lex with us now is the reason I can continue to have faith in this cause. He gives me strength."
The ceremony today served as a tribute to all military working dogs and the crucial role they play in supporting the military police and providing protection for servicemembers.
"These dogs are the greatest tool to have on the front lines," said Tech. Sgt. Gary King, 96th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler. "They save so many unsuspecting lives because they can tell where hidden caches of weapons are or hear an enemy hiding just steps away. They truly are heroes in every sense and I am proud to be a handler."
"Lex has an amazing spirit and he truly loves people," said Kelly Hooker, Discover K9 Dog Training owner in Walton County and coordinator for the military working dog ceremony. "He really is man's best friend and his is a story so many of our dogs share."
Mrs. Hooker and her husband, Staff Sgt. Rickey Hooker, a dog trainer with the 96th SFS, have also adopted a military working dog named Jacco.
Recently, a bill was passed unanimously by both the Senate and House of Representatives and signed by President George W. Bush authorizing the construction of a monument commemorating the military working dogs like Lex.
"It's an honor to have Lex as an icon for working dogs," said Mrs. Lee. "It is important we show respect for these war dogs and today is a wonderful way to acknowledge the devotion these dogs give so fully and faithfully."
Military working dogs have been officially in service since World War II under the Dogs for Defense program and more than 100, 000 have served in the defense of the United States of America.
If you were given or purchased a new puppy for Christmas, we can help get you off to the right start with your training. We will be glad to speak to you about professional training that can begin as early as 16 weeks. Fortunately for you, your puppy is ready to learn a few things even at 8 to 16 weeks. You can work on things like crate-training, puppy manners, and leash training that will build a foundation for years to come.
Give us a call and we will be glad to discuss your puppy's needs. Remember your dog will be with you for the next 10+ years, take the time to invest in his future so you will all be happier.
Call us at 662-419-8718
or email at
Kelly & Rickey Hooker
Saturday, September 6, 2008
DISCOVER K9 can also locate and train a Family or Business Protection Dog to provide security for individuals, families with children, business professionals, corporations and anyone that would like to feel more safe and secure.
If you would like a dog to protect you and your family, we can help you find the perfect match. Protection dogs can be a great deterent to crime; but they have the skills and training necessary to back up their threatening appearance with force.
We sleep better knowing our family is protected by a working dog - you can too.
IF we don't have what you are looking for, we can find a dog and train it for you.
We have 4 Belgian Malinois 1 year old dogs that have started Working Dog Training.
These dogs have been handled and socialized around adults and small children since birth. They show all the characteristics needed for Personal Protection Dogs.
We Train All Breeds & All Temperaments.
In-House Training starts at 4 months - NO dog is ever TOO OLD to learn.
We specialize in Difficult-to-Train Dogs
Talk to us as your 1st Choice in Puppy Training or your Last Resort for you Problem Dog.
2 Week Basic or 30 day Basic & Advanced Obedience Programs available.