Archive for fallen handler

R.I.P. Sgt. 1st Class​ Grego​ry A. Rodri​guez-Army fallen military working dog handler

Posted in Army Dog teams, fallen handlers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2008 by wardogmarine

I woke up this morning to see that another United States Army military working dog handler was killed in action in Afghanistan this past Tuesday, September 2nd. Army Sgt. 1st Class Gregory A. Rodriguez from Weidman, Michigan.

I was able to get in touch with his wife, Laura, and wish her my condolences. She mentioned that everyone knew him as “Rod” and that “150” was the nickname he used on his Jeep Forum website. She also mentioned that his specialized search dog “Jacko” did not make it as well. To Rod and Jacko, thank you for your service and making the ultimate sacrifice, you are true heroes and patriots. To Laura and family, God bless.


A soldier from Weidman died Tuesday in combat in Afghanistan, the Pentagon announced late Friday.

Sgt. 1st Class Gregory A. Rodriguez, 35, a military policeman, was killed in Ana Kalay, Afghanistan, when his patrol came under small-arms fire, according to a statement from the Department of Defense.

Rodriguez was a dog handler for the military police. He was assigned to the K-9 unit of the 527th Military Police Company, 709th Military Police Battalion, 18th MP Brigade, Ansbach, Germany, according to the Pentagon.

There was no word on the fate of Rodriguez’ dog.

According to postings on Internet forums, Rodriguez, known to his friends as “150,” loved Jeeps.

His wife’s MySpace page Friday night showed a slide show of Rodriguez with his family, his dog, of the two in action in Afghanistan, and included a photo of a makeshift military memorial erected in his honor. It also included a blog entry of a poem titled “Guardians of the Night,” celebrating the strength and courage of a military working dog.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.

Ana Kalay is in central Afghanistan, in a remote, mountainous region about halfway between Kabul, the capitol, and Kandahar.

Rodriguez is the 18th member of the military with Michigan ties to die in Afghanistan since Operation Enduring Freedom began nearly seven years ago.

His wife made this fantastic slide show of him if you want to view more photos, click here:

Slide show for Sgt 1st Class Gregory Rodriguez

Visit the “Fallen Handlers” category to see other military working dog handlers who have died in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.


R.I.P.-Army Military Working Dog Handler Staff Sgt. Donald T. Tabb

Posted in Army Dog teams, fallen handlers, Tribute Videos with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2008 by wardogmarine


Army Staff Sgt Donald T. Tabb 29, of Norcross, Ga.; assigned to the 6th Military Police Detachment, 1st Battalion,
13th Aviation Regiment, Fort Rucker, Ala.; died Feb. 5 in Sangin, Afghanistan,
of wounds sustained when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device.

Rucker to hold memorial service for fallen soldierMontgomery Advertiser
Fort Rucker will pause to remember a fallen hero who was killed in action Feb. 5 while serving with the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force in Afghanistan. Staff Sgt. Donald T. Tabb, 29, will be honored by Family, friends and fellow Soldiers during a memorial service at the Main Post Chapel Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.   

While stationed at Fort Rucker, the Soldier served with the Military Working Dog Section, 6th Military Police Detachment, 1st Battalion, 13th Aviation Regiment.

Tabb’s Specialized Search Dog, Bo, a 2-year-old black Labrador, was injured but is expected to recover.

A Norcross, Ga., native, Tabb is survived by his mother, Gloria Smith of Lawrenceville, Ga.

He served with the military police here for about three years before attending the Military Working Dog School at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. He graduated from the SSD handler program last March.

SSDs are specially trained in one field — detection. Unlike regular MWDs, SSDs aren’t aggressive and can be released by the handler to search up to a quarter-mile, according to Staff Sgt. Brian Coleman, a MWD handler and one of Tabb’s close friends.

Coleman attended the school with Tabb last year and knew him for three years. They also rode motorcycles together and Tabb often came to Coleman’s home for dinner.

“If there was food there, he’d be there. He was always hungry,” Coleman said with a laugh.

Coleman remembered Tabb as a guy who liked to work out, was laidback, outgoing and fun.

MWD handler Sgt. Michael Calvert said he had known Tabb for about four years.

“He was really easy to get along with. I would look forward to coming to work if I knew he was working. I knew if he was working I was going to have a good day,” Calvert said. “He’ll definitely be missed.”

Tabb’s sense of humor reached all of the MWD handlers he worked with, they said.

Sgt. Audra Rose, another MWD handler, described Tabb as “shameless.”

“He would do or say whatever — he didn’t care what other people thought,” she said. “If it was funny, he was going to do it even if no one else thought it was funny.”

Tabb also gave Rose some of his motorcycle equipment when she purchased her bike, which she said she appreciated.

Although his peers and comrades remember Tabb as being funny and outgoing, they also portrayed him as an exceptional leader and friend.

“He’s exactly what a [noncommissioned officer] should be. He would go out of his way to help anybody. All you had to do was ask him,” said Sgt. John Stevenson, MWD handler.

Tabb earned the rank of staff sergeant in four and a half years, which is a huge accomplishment, according to Coleman.

Tabb was upfront and honest, he’d speak his mind and was a really good NCO, Rose said.

Calvert said he and the other dog handlers were shocked and saddened when they heard the news of Tabb’s death.

The MWD Section is a close-knit group comprised of about 10 Soldiers, Rose said.

“It was hard [to hear the news]. I just cried,” she said.

Coleman said he spoke to his friend two days before he was killed.

“He and his dog were doing great and were successful [in Afghanistan] before the incident,” he said. “It hurts to see a good friend go because you meet a lot of good people in the military.”

Since enlisting in the Army on Jan. 26, 1999, Tabb deployed four times in support of the Global War on Terrorism.

Tabb was eager to deploy and turned down permanent change of station orders and drill sergeant school so he could deploy, according to Sgt. 1st Class Cecil Dawson, Directorate of Public Safety operations NCO and Tabb’s former supervisor at the MWD Section.

“He was a proven combat veteran of three previous deployments to Iraq, Kosovo and Afghanistan,” he said.

DPS Sgt. Maj. Marcel Dumais said Tabb volunteered for this deployment.

“He felt strongly about our presence and our mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom … he fully understood what was expected of him and he rose to the occasion, Dumais said. He is a true patriot and a great American, and I wish I had 10 more just like him.”

Tabb’s commander, Capt. Jay Massey, 6th Military Police Detachment, said Tabb was a role model and the epitome of a noncommissioned officer.

“Any time a Soldier of mine is deployed is a big deal,” Massey said. “Every task or mission that Tabb was given was executed above and beyond what was asked and he performed 110 percent. I have a son who’s 5 years old and if my son was 18 and he deployed, Staff Sgt. Tabb was the kind of guy you’d trust to lead your kid. He was a friend, he was a son and he was well-loved by every Soldier in my unit. He’s going to be missed.”

Tabb is the third Fort Rucker Soldier to die in combat in more than 18 months and the first Army MP dog handler to die in combat during the Global War on Terrorism. His funeral service will take place Saturday in Lawrenceville.

Army Dog Team-Corporal Kory Wiens and MWD Cooper-R.I.P.

Posted in Army Dog teams, fallen dogs, fallen handlers, military working dog handlers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2008 by wardogmarine

National Guard release:

Kory was born September 6, 1986 in Albany, Oregon. He was the middle son of three boys and an older sister. He was named after his grandfather who was a canine handler during the Korean War.

Kory was a member of the Boy Scouts of America, Pack 38 in Independence, Oregon. He was a wrestler and quarterback of the football team at West Albany High School, where he graduated in 2005.

The Wiens family said Kory was liked by many people and was an easy going kid. As a hobby, Kory liked to customize his vehicles, spending lots of time with all the details. Kory was a good story teller and had a wonderful imagination.

Kory enlisted into the Army to gain experience for pursuing a career in law enforcement. He attended canine school at the 341st Training Squadron, Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, where he met his partner and friend, a yellow Labrador Retriever named Cooper. Cooper was a specialized search dog trained to find firearms, ammunition and explosives.

Kory and Cooper shared a special bond, spending most of their time together. Kory often referred to Cooper as his “son”. The two were featured in many news articles.

Kory and Cooper were assigned to the 94th Mine Dog Detachment, 5th Engineer Battalion, 1st Engineer Brigade, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. The two deployed to Iraq together in January. Their abilities to detect TNT, C-4, detonation cords, smokeless powder and mortars saved countless lives by taking explosives and other IED manufacturing materials off the streets of Iraq. Kory and Cooper died alongside each other while performing a search patrol on July 6.

He is survived by his father, Kevin; mother, Judith (also known as Laura); brothers, Kevin and Kyle; sister, Lindsay; and grandmother, Patricia McAlister. He had four nieces and nephews, and was a great uncle to his sister’s children. Kory’s older brother Kevin is currently serving on a second tour in Iraq as a military police officer for the Army.

Kory and his two brothers, Kevin and Kyle, decided to get tattoos on their upper left shoulders that said “Brotherhood of Wiens” in Korean and the names of their brothers. Kyle was too young at the time to get his tattoo, but plans to have his done as soon as he can.

Kevin Wiens, who is also serving in Iraq, is escorting his brother’s body back to Oregon, along with Cooper’s.

Cpl. Dustin J. Lee(R.I.P.) and MWD Lex-Semper Fi

Posted in fallen handlers, Marine dog teams, Tribute Videos with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2008 by wardogmarine

Dedicated to Marine Cpl Dustin Jerome Lee. Born April 7, 1986, Killed March 21, 2007 in Fallujah, Iraq.
He was 20 years old. Dustin was born in Meridian, MS, graduated from Quitman High School in 2004.
He was stationed at MCLB, HQ BN in Albany GA, before deploying for Iraq.
Cpl Dustin J. Lee was a Marine K9 handler attached to 3rd Recon Battalion in Fallujah when the attack happened.
His dog Lex received injuries but non life-threatening.
UPDATE: LEX was Adopted by Dustin’s family on December 21, 2007.
Visit this site

Dustin’s shadow box created by Frank DeAngelis

Marine Bomb-Sniffing Dog
8 Years Old. Wounded in Iraq War
Retired 12-21.07
To The Lee Family


Poster of all Micahael Reagan’s illustrations.