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Military working dogs getting ready for deployment from Wright-Patterson AFB have some new best friends.
Starline Nunley, with help from the Gem City Dog Obedience Club in Dayton, Ohio, and other sponsors, is providing protective cooling vests, goggles and doggie booties to military working dogs headed for places like Iraq and Afghanistan.
Ms. Nunley presented three sets of protective equipment July 16 to deploying K-9 teams from Wright-Patterson’s 88th Security Forces Squadron. Joining her in the presentation were about 100 supporters, including the Warren County (Ohio)-based Clover Canines 4-H Club.
Tech. Sgt. Kelly Mylott, kennel master for the 88th Security Forces Squadron here, said she was extremely grateful for the outpouring of community support for her deploying Airmen and their working dog partners. The base typically has seven dog teams assigned for patrol and detection duties and they frequently deploy.
“I can assure you this gear is going to make a huge difference for our dogs,” Sergeant Mylott said. “We simply can’t say thank you enough.”
It was Ms. Nunley’s son, Army Maj. Parker Frawley, an Apache Longbow helicopter pilot, who first described to her the important contributions and difficult working conditions for military working dogs deployed in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. During his first tour to Mosul, Iraq, he observed how extreme heat, hot sands, asphalt and dust storms can wreak havoc on the German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois which make up the bulk of military K-9s.
Ms. Nunley said she was delighted to pitch in and help out the four-legged troops and their handlers, who she said are helping save American lives by identifying explosives, narcotics and rooting out insurgents. She found a receptive audience in the 200-plus member Gem City Dog Obedience Club and together they began raising funds for the equipment.
With the help of a friend, she established a SupportMilitaryWorkingDogs.org Web site. Since May, Ms. Nunley’s efforts have resulted in the funding and delivery of 46 sets of goggles, booties, and cool vests to military working dogs.
Ms. Nunley’s passion to support deployed service members has turned toward educating the American public about the work K-9s from all of the military services are doing. She said her goal is to outfit every deployed working dog.