Tribute Video to Military Working Dog Mike

Sgt. Michelle Colon, a soldier with 209th MP Detatchment in Fort Benning, GA, had the unfortunate circumstance of losing her MWD(military working dog) Mike this past summer. Her “battle buddy” Sgt. Tabitha Pindell, stationed at Fort Wainwright, Alaska 28th MP detachment, made this great tribute video for Sgt Colon and MWD Mike who were deployed to Camp Bucca , Iraq. 

Handlers become so attached to their dogs that they will often  make various tributes to them such as paintings, a collage, a shadowbox, and a video like the one below. Losing an MWD is more than just losing an effective weapon or tool, it like losing another brave soldier. You see them everyday, the dogs have personalities, and they bring overall morale up with the soldiers. MWD Mike had a final rank of Staff Sergeant because his handler’s rank is Sergeant. Handlers give their dogs one rank higher than themselves so that they always treat them with respect. His ID number is K494 meaning that number is tattooed inside one of his ears, it is like the dog’s own social security number in the military. This particular MWD is a fantastic looking dog. It is a Belgain Malinois, not a Shepherd. Rest easy Mike, your work here is done.  

SSG Mike K494
April 2005-June 2008

4 Responses to “Tribute Video to Military Working Dog Mike”

  1. Awesome tribute! I have two Malligators at home and this vid sure brought more than one tear to my eye. I loved the shot of Mike and Michelle in the vehicle, heads side by side. Also at the end of the video clip with Mike carrying his own leash, my two do that all the time. Mals are such awesome dogs.

    RIP SSG Mike K494, you will be missed.

  2. Bill "Tate" Tetreault Says:

    I enjoyed this tribute. The training exercises brought back some fond memories from when I was a young 19 year old kid at Lackland AB in San Antonio, Texas. I was a Dog Handler for my 4 years in the Air Force and served with the 35th & 315th SPS K-9 Units during my tour in Vietnam and then in Bitburg, Germany. I know first hand the bond that is built between a dog and handler.

    I had the unfortuate assignment of having to take 40 plus dogs from my base at Phan Rang, RVN to Tan Son Nhut for the purpose of euthanizing them. It was a time when you could not bring the dogs back to the states.
    My own dog Chinook was one of those that they had to put down.

    I think I can safely say that I know how you feel. Michelle, as hard as it might be; keep a smile on your face and remember the good times and the blessing it was to have a true friend like SSGT. Mike.

    Additionally, to Tabitha… you did a great job on the tribute.

    Best regards,

    Bill “Tate” Tetreault
    Ferndale, WA

  3. Jennifer Hodur Says:

    Tabitha, this is a beautiful tribute to SSG Mike. I am a volunteer at the USO in Philadelphia when you were here and I am so proud that I was able to meet you and Aris. I hope and pray that you are safe and that your new dog is as beautiful as Aris.

  4. Michelle Colon Says:

    I want to thank you all for posting a comment. Mike is truely missed. To this day which has been almost 7 months from when he passed tears still fall from my face when I watch the video. I miss my lil buddy. Mikey will always be missed, he touch many peoples hearts in Iraq just seeing him walk around the FOB and being able to pet him put a smile on many soldiers and civilian’s faces. I am glad I was his 1st handler, May my lil battle buddy rest in peace. Love you Mikey.

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