• Kerina Mariana pets Benny, the working dog assigned to her husband, Staff Sgt. John Mariana, K-9 Unit dog handler, prior to his recent passing on Thanksgiving morning, Nov. 28. Benny was given to Kerina, who is a prior military working dog handler, following her husband's memorial service Dec. 12.

    Kerina Mariana pets Benny, the working dog...

    Kerina Mariana pets Benny, the working dog assigned to her husband, Staff Sgt. John Mariana, K-9 Unit dog handler, prior to his recent passing on Thanksgiving morning, Nov. 28. Benny was given to Kerina, who is a prior military working dog handler...

  • As members of the Patriot Guard and the Combat Veterans Association stand with flags at their sides, Staff Sgt. Daniel Turner, 18th Military Police Detachment, K-9 Unit kennel master, escorts Kerina Mariana, the wife of deceased Staff Sgt. John Mariana, into the Fort Huachuca Main Post Chapel for the memorial service in Mariana's honor, Dec.12.

    As members of the Patriot Guard and the Combat...

    As members of the Patriot Guard and the Combat Veterans Association stand with flags at their sides, Staff Sgt. Daniel Turner, 18th Military Police Detachment, K-9 Unit kennel master, escorts Kerina Mariana, the wife of deceased Staff Sgt. John...

  • Maj. Carrie Magaoay, Directorate of Emergency Services provost marshal, presents Kerina Mariana, spouse of Staff Sgt. John Mariana, with a posthumous Meritorious Service Medal in honor of Mariana's nine years of military service during his memorial service Dec.12, at the Fort Huachuca Main Post Chapel.

    Maj. Carrie Magaoay, Directorate of Emergency...

    Maj. Carrie Magaoay, Directorate of Emergency Services provost marshal, presents Kerina Mariana, spouse of Staff Sgt. John Mariana, with a posthumous Meritorious Service Medal in honor of Mariana's nine years of military service during his memorial...

  • Staff Sgt. Jason Joye and Staff Sgt. Daniel Turner, K-9 Unit dog handlers, 18th Military Police Detachment, render hand salutes Dec. 12 at the Fort Huachuca Main Post Chapel as they pay their respects to Staff Sgt. John Mariano, also a K-9 Unit dog handler who passed away Thanksgiving morning, Nov. 28.

    Staff Sgt. Jason Joye and Staff Sgt. Daniel...

    Staff Sgt. Jason Joye and Staff Sgt. Daniel Turner, K-9 Unit dog handlers, 18th Military Police Detachment, render hand salutes Dec. 12 at the Fort Huachuca Main Post Chapel as they pay their respects to Staff Sgt. John Mariano, also a K-9 Unit dog...

Hundreds of local Soldiers, law enforcement personnel, Family and friends gathered at the Fort Huachuca Main Post Chapel, Dec. 12, to give their final farewells to Staff Sgt. John Mariana, who passed away Thanksgiving morning, Nov. 28.

Forty-seven motorcycles carrying members of the Patriot Guard and the Combat Veterans Association escorted Mariana's Family as they arrived at the church, with an American flag mounted on the back of each bike.

Mariana, a New York native, enlisted in the Army on Aug. 29, 2004 as a military police officer. His duty stations included Fort Riley, Kan.; Lackland Air Force Base, Texas; Fort Carson, Colo.; and multiple deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
In August 2012, Mariana was assigned to Fort Huachuca as the military working dog training noncommissioned officer, or NCO, and the senior military working dog handler.

Following his eulogy read by Sgt. 1st Class Craig Hannum, 18th Military Police Detachment, Family and friends watched a slideshow honoring Mariana and his accomplishments.

Mariana's supervisors and colleagues spoke gently about the committed and loving Soldier he was.
"All who knew John knew that he lived his life in a truly superlative manner," said Maj. Carrie Magaoay, Directorate of Emergency Services provost marshal. "We know he lived and breathed the Soldier, NCO and Military Police Creeds. To call him an exemplary military police officer and noncommissioned officer would be accepted by all who knew him and that role in his life."

Following remarks and prayers from Chaplain (Capt.) Bruce Duty, Mariana's wife Kerina was presented with a Meritorious Service Medal signifying his nine years of exemplary service.
As the service closed, the Fort Huachuca Select Honor Guard fired a three-volley salute and a bugler played "Taps." Row by row, attendees rendered their final salutes and said their goodbyes.

After the memorial, Mariana's Family gathered at the military working dog kennels, where they were presented with a shadow box showcasing his entire military career. Kerina, who is a prior military working dog handler, was also presented with Mariana's Army working dog Benny, who will now reside with her.

In addition to his wife, Mariana is survived by his son Cason, his mother Anne Marie, his father Allen, his godfather Michael, and his siblings Michael, Jason, Jessica and Devin.

Page last updated Thu December 19th, 2013 at 00:00