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Monday, May 27, 2013

Remembering The Humans And Dogs Of War

Ryan McCourt, saluting the gravesite of his dad's mine detection dog, Mina, recently buried at the Michigan War Dog Memorial in South Lyon, Michigan. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Conley/The Detroit News.

We guess that we're "preachin' to the choir", but we hope that as each of you remember our humans currently serving in the military and the veterans that came before them, you also give a salute to those amazing war dogs who have given their lives for our country, and prevented many additional human casualties.

This article published today in the Detroit News had us crying into our coffee this morning. It turns out that the Michigan War Dog Memorial and cemetery in South Lyon, Michigan, are one of only two places in the country that serve as the final resting spot for deceased military dogs. Sgt. Mina, a black Labrador, was a mine detection specialist who served two tours in Bosnia and nine in Afghanistan. She was adopted by Army Sgt. Corey McCourt when she retired from the military at age 12, and died of a lung ailment a year later.

It's interesting to note that there are proper burial procedures for canine military: Courtesy of the Michigan War Dog Memorial and in consultation with the United States War Dog Association, Mina's remains were given "a slow hand salute , his biography was read, and a chaplain spoke...a folded American flag was presented and taps was played. Then four German shepherds offered a canine salute to their fallen comrade: They howled and then stomped on command."

And we're proud to say that an Ohio-based organization, Support Military Working Dogs, founded in 2008, "raises money and purchases equipment for military dogs and their handlers." One of their board members, Tracy Spader, adopts many of the retired military canines-she just took home Jig, a six-year-old black Lab who earned the honorary rank of marine sergeant, sniffing out explosives. Unfortunately, Jig has oral melanoma. "I take the guys who need the most love," said Spader.

A hearty thank you, this Memorial Day, to both human and canine who have served or are currently serving in the United States military. Parental Unit would like to give a special mention to both her grandfather, Guiseppe DiMartino, who as a recent immigrant from Italy, fought in W.W. I, and to his first born child, Louis DeMartin, Parental Unit's late father, who fought in W.W. II.


Unknown said...

Dogs are men's best friends and they always are!

Happy Memorial Day!

asta said...

Dawling Bocci
We wemembew them and awe gwateful to theiw sewvice. Thank you fow witing about those bwave doggies. They along wif all the hoomans desewve ouw thanks and wespect
Smoochie kisses

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