Team Jackson, first responders honor one of their own
1 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Chantelle Young, former police officer and military spouse, and her children Eva, Peyton and Winston pay their final respects to Military Working Dog Aura as her procession passes along Marion Avenue Jan. 7, 2022. The Young Family often walk near the Fort Jackson kennels and attended military police demonstrations that Aura had worked in. (Photo Credit: Alexandra Shea) VIEW ORIGINAL
Team Jackson, first responders honor one of their own
2 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Cpl. Nathanial Hudson, Fort Jackson military working dog handler, center, pushes the head of a gurney carrying the remains of Military Working Dog Aura. Fellow veterinarian and military police assist Hudson as Aura prepares to make her final patrol across the installation Jan. 7. Aura was a six year veteran with multiple combat deployments under her collar. Aura was euthanized shortly after discovering she had a rare form of lymphoma cancer that infected her entire body. (Photo Credit: Alexandra Shea) VIEW ORIGINAL
Team Jackson, first responders honor one of their own
3 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Fort Jackson first responders honor's one of their own as Military Working Dog Aura is loaded into a hearse Jan. 7, 20211, to begin her final patrol of the installation and her home. MWD Aura suffered a rare cancer that diminished her quality of life. She was humanely euthanized and transported for cremation. Her remains will be returned to the installation and given to her last handler for safe keeping. (Photo Credit: Alexandra Shea) VIEW ORIGINAL
Team Jackson, first responders honor one of their own
4 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Fort Jackson veterinarian staff, military police and fellow first responders pay their final respects to Military Working Dog Aura Jan. 7, 2022, as she makes her final patrol of the installation and home. MWD Aura was an explosives detection dog with several combat deployments under her collar and in the eye of the public while at home station as she was most disciplined to participate in public demonstrations in the local community. Aura was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma cancer that diminished her quality of life. The hard decision of euthanizing her was made the day after Christmas. Due to personnel shortages due to COVID-19 infection rates, Aura's remains were closely guarded until she could be transported for cremation. (Photo Credit: Alexandra Shea) VIEW ORIGINAL

“Detachment, attention,” said a Fort Jackson Veterinarian Services noncommissioned officer.

The muted thud of boot heels touching began the final patrol for Military Working Dog Aura across the installation and her home.

Cpl. Nathanial Hudson, Aura’s handler, stood at the head of her gurney as he and fellow handlers wheeled her flag draped remains into the lone black hearse awaiting her Jan. 7.

The strobe of red and blue lights of marked and unmarked police cars and fire engines announced Aura’s arrival as they somberly and silently wound their way across post. Hudson drove the final miles to where Aura’s remains will be cremated.

Soldiers, civilians, retirees and Family members lined Strom Thurmond Boulevard and Marion Avenue as she passed. Some attended with their own pets and service animals to honor the work Aura and fellow working dogs provide to safeguard the nation and its people. Many saluting, holding their hands over their hearts and waving small flags to show their final respects to the four-legged hero.

Though Aura had several combat deployments under her collar, she was the working dog most frequently seen in the public’s eye. An explosives detection dog by trade, she was disciplined enough to be used during public demonstrations to include many installation hosted events like National Night Out and the Child and Youth Services Fall Festival.

“This is adding closure,” said Sgt. 1st Class John Hawkins, Fort Jackson kennel master. “She had a rare form of lymphoma cancer across her whole body.”

It was during a deployment to Kuwait where Aura displayed concerning health issues, after returning to Fort Jackson, her cancer was discovered. The decision to euthanize Aura was made by veterinarian staff, military police senior leadership and Hudson.

“We made the decision Dec. 26, 2021,” Hawkins said. “It was the humane thing to do.”

“She gave her life for our country just like Soldiers do,” said Chantelle Young, spouse to a Family Life Chaplain. “She saved lives and served right alongside all the Soldiers, just like Family.”

After Aura and her procession passed, many returned to work and their daily activities. Many whispered, “Gone, but not forgotten,” and “Rest easy,” as they returned to their cars and offices.

Aura, a 6-year old Belgian Malinois, will be cremated and her ashes returned to the installation. In keeping with military police traditions, Aura’s ashes will be given to Hudson for safe keeping and personal closure to their professional working relationship and bond.