Fort Riley MPs say farewell to military working dog
March 29, 2012
FORT RILEY, Kan. -- With the words, "Rest in peace, Soldier. Job well done," Sgt. 1st Class Hary received his final farewell from his loved ones at Fort Riley.
Soldiers with the 97th Military Police Battalion celebrated the life of military working dog Hary during a memorial ceremony March 15 at Fort Riley's K9 section kennels.
The life of a MWD is commemorated in the same way as a Soldier, with the rendering of military funeral honors for the veteran.
An honor guard detail stood still and silent for Hary that morning. And while there was no next of kin to receive Hary's folded American flag, the 97th MP Bn. took great care to place it between two funeral flower easels filled with white blossoms.
Hary's photo rested beneath his urn, adorned with his dog tags and flanked by his water bowl, leash and favorite toys. His Army Commendation Medal was displayed along with the battalion commander's coin.
Hary's life and accomplishments were read to the attendees by Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Lewis, kennel master.
"Hary, though you are gone, you will never be forgotten. You had a tremendous impact on multiple handlers within this section. Goodbye our friend, goodbye our comrade, goodbye our guardian of the night," Lewis said.
Sgt. Nicholas Milbank read the anonymous poem, "Guardians of the Night," -- a poem which has significant meaning to MWD handlers. The firing of three rifle volleys followed, after a moment of silence.
Taps, the bugle call used in military funerals by the U.S. Army since 1874, rang out in farewell to the dog who gave his entire adult life in service to the U.S. Army and Fort Riley.
Two by two, the "Guardians" went forward for one last salute as "Amazing Grace" played softly.
Hary's headstone was visited by every person who attended. It reads, "Military Working Dog Hary F566, August 02 -- February 2012: Soldier, Friend, Partner."
Hary was born August 2002. He became a MWD at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. During his tenure, he was trained in patrols and narcotics detection. On May 20, 2004, Hary was transferred to Fort Riley where he utilized his narcotics detection skills for eight years totaling 191 narcotics call outs and more than 103 finds.
During his enlistment, Hary deployed to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom 06 - 08. Hary supported force protection at the main entry control points and narcotics suppression.
Upon his redeployment, Hary returned to Fort Riley in November 2005 where he continued to serve the Fort Riley community with more than 416 law enforcement patrols. On Feb. 1, 2012, Hary was laid to rest.