Bomb-sniffing dog honored for service to country - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Bomb-sniffing dog honored for service to country

There was a unique military memorial service Sunday at the Dunberger American Legion Post in Oregon.

The soldier being honored was Bernie, a thirteen-year-old bomb sniffing Belgian Malinois.

Her rank was sergeant.

Prayers were said and there was a 21-gun-salute, a hero's sendoff for Sgt. Bernie of the Marines.

There was hardly a dry eye in the crowd.

“She's a Marine. Unless you are a Marine, you just don't understand camaraderie,” said Corky Walters of the post.

Sgt. Bernie served three combat tours of duty in Iraq.

Along the way, she saved countless lives by sniffing out roadside bombs.

“It was meant to be because my personality and her personality put us together. We work good as a team,” said Sgt. Bernie's handler Bret Reynolds.

Sgt. Bernie's final assignment was a Secret Service detail, sniffing out explosives during presidential trips.

That's when Bret and Sgt. Bernie first met.

“Nothing like you've ever seen before. Friendly, outgoing, baby personality. Just a lover,” is how Bret describes Bernie.

The two retired from the Marines together and settled in Northwood.

Sgt. Bernie loved watching TV, especially Animal Planet.

“Anytime there was any kind of dog show on TV, we'd put it on and she would fixate on the TV,” said Bret.

Not anymore.

Sgt. Bernie recently died of natural causes.

She would have turned fourteen on April 1st.

Folks at the post gathered on this chilly afternoon to say goodbye to her.

“Speechless. I'm at a loss for words what to say. It's amazing,” said Bret.

Amazing because every now and then we need to be reminded that man's best friend is also out there protecting our freedom, like Sgt. Bernie.

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