Archive for military working dog handler

Patrol Days Come To an End for Andy

Posted in Foreign Dog Teams with tags , , , on May 11, 2009 by wardogmarine
Published Date:
09 May 2009
A military dog handler who risked rocket attacks and roadside bombs to protect British forces in war-torn Iraq is preparing to fly home.

Corporal Andy Moan is to be reunited with his loved ones in Sunderland after completing a tour of duty in Basra.
Andy Moan

The RAF police dog handler served with the Theatre Military Dog Support Unit on patrol at the province’s international airport playing a vital security role during the hostilities.

Risking attack by rocket-propelled grenades and Improvised Explosive Devices, the team use their canine counterparts’ razor sharp senses to protect personnel and vital equipment from criminal and terrorist threats.

But last month marked the official end of the six-year British mission in the country and now the 22-year-old, who has also served on operations in Afghanistan, is preparing to join the thousands of troops returning home.

“My duties have included working as a police dog handler, as well as other wider duties involved with the policing of military operations on a civilian airfield,” said Cpl Moan.

“Working closely with my dog, our aim has been to detect and deter any intruders and to provide military working dog support to ongoing transition operations.”

The former Farringdon Community School pupil, who joined the RAF in 2002, is looking forward to flying home and seeing his family, including mum Lynne and dad Colin, and girlfriend Michelle.

“I love you all and will see you soon,” said Cpl Moan. “I’m also looking forward to having home-cooked meals and a few beers with my friends. I’ll see you all when I get back.

“I also want to thank the people of the UK for all their support for the armed forces.”

The Echo is providing returning servicemen and women with the chance to let their friends and loved ones know they are back safe and sound.
We will print messages for free in the Echo, making sure that people are aware they have returned from active service.

The Echo will also publish messages from personnel in the conflict zones.

Anyone wishing to take part should send their messages to

Generous businesses are continuing to back the campaign.

Shops, restaurants and visitor attractions across the North East are supporting our drive to offer service personnel discounts on a range of services and products.

Any businesses that wish to take part in the scheme, and be featured in the Echo, should send a brief outline of their business and proposed offers with contact details to james.johnston

To qualify for the Honour Our Brave offers, service personnel have to show their official ID cards at participating businesses.


Update on Sgt 1st Class Gregory Rodriguez

Posted in fallen handlers, military working dog handlers with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 7, 2008 by wardogmarine

Rodriguez to be buried in Arlington

Sgt. 1st Class Gregory A. Rodriguez, 35, died when his unit came under fire in central Afghanistan on Tuesday, according to the Department of Defense.

“I asked Greg if anything ever happened to him where he’d prefer to be buried,” said his wife, Laura Rodriguez, “and he told me Arlington, as he wanted to be among the best and the brave.”

Sgt. Rodriguez graduated from Mt. Pleasant High School in 1991. He didn’t immediately join the service, his wife said.

But about three years later, he joined the Army Reserve. The military life agreed with him, and he went on full-time active duty in December 1996. “We have been stationed in Hawaii, Missouri, Alaska, Texas, and Germany,” Laura said. She is a native of Merrill.

Laura now lives in San Antonio, Texas, site of Lackland Air Force Base, which houses the military’s working dog programs. Her husband was a military police dog handler.

Sgt. Rodriguez and his dog, Jacko (pronounced “Jocko”), were a military special search dog team. Jacko survived the ambush in Ana Kalay, Afghanistan, and Laura said she hopes the Pentagon will release the dog to the family.

“He was Greg’s best companion for the past couple of years,” she said. “He’d been sleeping with Greg every night since they landed in Afghanistan.”

The team was assigned to the K-9 unit of the 527th Military Police Co., 709th Military Police Battalion, 18th MP Brigade, based in Ansbach, Germany.

Sgt. Rodriguez’s mother, Virginia Richardson of Lake Isabella, is a support staff member at Chippewa Hills High School. Chippewa Hills Superintendent Shirley Howard said she and another staffer helped the military team that delivered the news find the Richardson home, and staffers at Chippewa Hills have given donations for the family.

Greg and Laura Rodriguez were married in Honolulu in January 1999, and have three young children.

“Greg is the best dad, a loving husband, and an awesome soldier who loved being able to train and handle his K9 companions,” Laura said.

“Rod,” as he was known to his Army buddies, was a Red Wings fan who loved to hassle fans of other hockey teams he met during his military career, she said.

“Greg loved to push everyone’s buttons and get people going with his rare, unique sense of sarcasm,” she said. At the same time, her husband was “a very committed, loyal individual and could be counted on whenever needed.”

Fred Dorr, president of the Vietnam Dog Handlers Association, said a memorial service was being scheduled for Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

A Mt. Pleasant memorial service also is likely to take place, but has not yet been scheduled.


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.

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.