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Date Posted: 14:18:27 05/13/04 ThuPDT
Author: Bill Cummings
Author Host/IP: 65.114.135.166
Subject: Ft. Benning War Dog Memorial - KIA Pedestal

War Dog Memorial
Sacrifice Field, Ft. Benning, GA
Killed in Action (KIA) K-9 Pedestal
Dedication Ceremony
www.wardogsmemorial.org

Saturday, May 8, 2004

The dedication of the pedestal to honor the K9 heroes of World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Thailand was held on May 8, 2004, at Sacrifice Field, Ft. Benning, Georgia. Approximately 100 people attended the ceremonies. Jesse Mendez, with a lot of assistance, coordinated and planned the event. On a beautiful Georgia day, our canine heroes who so bravely gave their lives for our mission were honored for their service and sacrifice by handlers, friends and the general public.

The ceremony was opened by Jesse Mendez by introducing Dan Miller (USMC Scout) as the Master of Ceremonies for the dedication.

Posting of the Colors and introduction of the Flag Bearers and escorts followed. Flag Bearers, introduced by Bill Cummings (635th SPS), were representatives from all of our services (former military dog handlers of all types), civic organizations, and our current military personnel and active Military Working Dogs from the U S Navy and Air Force.

Pledge of Allegiance & the National Anthem:

Unveiling of Pedestal: The following representatives unveiled the KIA pedestal:

Air Force Sentry/Patrol Dogs – Richard Deggans (377th SPS)
Army Scout & Sentry Dogs – Kenneth Goss (65th CTT)
Marine Corp Dogs – Fred Dorr (USMC Scout)
Navy Service Dogs – Dick King (USN Sentry)

Presentation and Acceptance of the Pedestal:
Col. (Ret) Hadden - Accepting on behalf of Ft. Benning


Keynote Speaker: Captain (Ret.) Arthur J. Haggerty

Reading of the KIA Dogs:

Jesse Mendez (USA WMD Advisor) and other representatives. (Names of the KIA dogs were read by former handlers (some even read their own dogs’ name) and friends representing former handlers).

Tolling of the Bell: (One ring for each KIA dog)

Remembrance: Kenneth Goss (65th CTT)

Honor Guard & Rifle Salute: Ft. Benning personnel

Taps: Ft. Benning personnel


Former Military Working Dog Handlers in attendance:

Gary Mather, Sr. USA 38th IPSD

Johnny Mayo USA 39th IPSD & Buck

A.J. Sorensen USA 40th IPSD

Spencer Dixon USA 43rd IPSD

Jacky Bayne USA 48th IPSD

Monty Slough USA 63rd CTT

Kenneth Goss USA 65th CTT

Bill Hughes USA 65th CTT

Richard Snow USA MP - Friend of IPSD Handler

Jesse Mendez USA MWD Advisor

Dick King USN Sentry

Carl Thedford USN Sentry

Al Dodds USN Sentry

Bill Mahoney USN Sentry

Lou Cornell USMC Scout

Fred Dorr USMC Scout

John Guerrero USMC Scout

Dan Miller USMC Scout

Art Sproch USMC Scout

Charlie Fike USMC Scout

Perry Money USMC Mine & Booby Trap

Ronnie Rackley USAF 366th SPS

Richard Deggans USAF 377th SPS

Bill Wigginton USAF 388th SPS

Bill Cummings USAF 635th SPS

Active Military:

US Navy and US Air Force Military Working Dog Handlers:

U S Navy – Kings Bay, GA.

MA1 Koehler & MWD Rick

MA1 Fisher & MWD Prinz

MA1 Stull & MWD Rocky

U S A F – Warner Robbins AFB, Atlanta, GA

SSgt Ellison & MWD Benny

SSgt Manka & MWD Fannie

Civic Organizations: A special thank you to Ms. Dixie Whitman, and her very close friends representing the Internet GSD Club, CAESAR (Canine Assisted Emergency Search and Rescue), the German Shepherd Dog Club of Atlanta, and the German Shepherd Dog Club of America for all of their efforts and for providing the Flag Bearer escorts and many other efforts for the dedication ceremony.

"I’d also like to thank all of those whose donations made this pedestal possible. Without your continued support, this would not have been possible. There is one major pedestal remaining to be placed, and that will be the one in honor of all of the War Dog handlers who were either KIA or MIA. To help in completion of this, donations can be made out in the name of the Columbus Monument Company and sent in care of Jesse Mendez, 1205 Bismark Road, Columbus, GA 31907-4013. Your Support is appreciated."

This posting was on behalf of the attendees at the dedication. It was a very proud moment and a great event.

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