Saturday, March 24, 2012

Air Force Base Honors Dog for Lifetime of Service

Via - Nisan, who helped guard Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and was deployed to Iraq during a lifetime of military service, was remembered Friday as “an American hero.” 

With a bugler playing “Taps,” a bagpiper playing “Amazing Grace” and the firing of a 21-gun salute, the 10-year-old German shepherd was memorialized with full military honors, less than two weeks after he was put down because of old age and ailments.

Wright-Patterson’s 88th Security Forces Squadron, which had custody of the Air Force dog, displayed his kennel and photos of him with his most recent human handler, Staff Sgt. Seth Dale, at a memorial service on the base.

“He was my partner, and my protector, and my family,” Dale told the audience of Air Force colleagues, K-9 officers from local police departments and former K-9 handlers who served with U.S. forces in Vietnam. Current K-9 handlers assigned to Wright-Patterson stood with their leashed dogs throughout the service.

“He was also very intuitive in his nature,” said Dale, whom Nisan had accompanied for about a year. “If I was having less than a favorable day or week, and was a little down, he would let me know he was there for me.”

Other speakers recalled Nisan as a “true American hero” and “one of our four-legged defenders who served the United States Air Force with distinction.”

Nisan’s Air Force career dated to May 2003, when he was 2. He was trained for patrol duty and narcotics detection. He was credited with career finds of more than nine kilograms of narcotics, resulting in at least 500 arrests, Air Force officials said. Nisan also was deployed to Balad Air Base in Iraq in 2009.

Dale said he hopes to be assigned another dog in South Korea when he is deployed there in August.

Image by Lisa Powell/Dayton Daily News

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