Canine Soldier Awarded Medal for Service in Iraq and Afghanistan

Nov 10, 2012

A ceremony at Fort Knox has honored the work of a special solider as she was retired from service. WDRB-TV reports that 10-year-old Mandy, a Belgian Malinois, was honored at the central Kentucky post during a ceremony for her years of service, which included tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Canine soldier Mandy, who retired from service at Ft. Knox
Credit WDRB-TV, Louisville

During the ceremony, Mandy was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for her service.

Capt. Joel Maxwell says Mandy has completed a total of over 80 missions, including presidential protection details. She was retired for medical reasons.

In combat zones, military dogs have a very important job.

"They detect explosives and are able to find the IED's and find them before they are detonated on our soldiers," Maxwell said. "To us, the dogs are treated exactly like soldiers. Even in combat, they have the same status. If one of them is injured, we Medevac them the same as a soldier. They are basically one of us."

Although Mandy won't be a soldier anymore, she'll have a new home with one. Sgt. Richard Ferrin said he and his family are proud to take her in.

"She deserves to be at a house with kids that pet her and people that love her. She doesn't have to work anymore, she's done," he said.