For the first time in their history, a military war dog was given a memorial service with full honors.
The service was held Sunday at Camp Nelson National Cemetery in Kentucky.
Dozens of people came out to the cemetery to pay their respects to Ireland, a 13-year-old war dog who served overseas on two deployments to Camp Fallujah in Iraq with handler Joshua Sutherland.
When they returned in 2009, Ireland was medically retired and the Sutherlands took her into their home.
“There was no quit in that dog,” Sutherland said. “She had more drive than five other dogs, and I don’t have a bad memory of ever working with her.”
Over the years, Ireland’s condition continued to worsen and last month she passed away.
Although she is no longer by Sutherland’s side, he said some of the best memories have come from the past seven year at home with friends and family, who Ireland helped bring him home to.
“My safety was never a concern,” he said. “I felt extremely confident.”
Sunday’s ceremony was the same service a soldier who served overseas would receive.
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