Military News

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Squadron hosts memorial service for deceased K-9

by Airman 1st Class Kiana Brothers
375 Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

7/15/2015 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, ILL. -- The 375th Security Forces Squadron paid their final respects to Breston, a 375th SFS military working dog, during a memorial service July 9 at Scott. A canine prayer along with a poem was recited, and the Scott Air Force Base Honor Guard rendered military honors for Breston during the service.

The dog, a Belgian Malinois, was diagnosed with cancer June 18 and due to his medical complications, he was euthanized the same day after more than eight years of military service.

"Breston was a great dog and a loyal, dedicated friend always," said Tech. Sgt. Bryan Dell, 375th SFS kennel master of the military working dog section.

Breston was a drug detector and a patrol dog for the Air Force and was deployed to Afghanistan.

He served with 13 handlers, but during his final moments, he was being maintained by Staff Sgt. David Yaronczyk.

The canine's last moments were spent at the Scott Veterinarian Clinic, June 18, and he was surrounded by his fellow 375th SFS military working dog section members. Before his planned euthanizing, security forces members cooked a juicy steak for him as his last meal, however, he was so weak from the pain and medication that he didn't want to eat. "

That dog loved to eat his food, so seeing that was upsetting because when you work with these dogs day in and out, you know when something is wrong, and when they aren't acting like themselves," said Staff Sgt. David Yaronczyk, 375th SFS military working dog handler. "I had never seen him like that before."

Breston received military honors broadcast across the security forces' radios during his final moments.

"I felt a tremendous amount of sadness seeing him pass away," said Yaronczyk. "I knew that the Air Force lost a great asset and MWD. Breston meant the world to me. He was my first K9 partner assigned to me as a handler. The bond between us was very strong, I loved and cared about him very much."

Military working dogs are trained on various tasks depending on if they are a bomb dog or a drug dog.

They are also trained to attack fleeing suspects. Handlers and their dogs train daily to keep the dogs at the top of their game.

"Breston, in comparison to other MWDs, during work was a 'beast' in bite work," said Yaronczyk. "He loved to bite the'bad guys' and he had an amazing drive to work to find drugs and bad guys during training and in the real world."

"I went on my first temporary duty as a MWD handler with him to Grissom Air Reserve Base for a drug interdiction mission," said Yaronczyk.

"He was very protective of his Kennel or 'house' as we call it. He also was protective of his handler, and I saw this on every traffic stop I made or while on walking patrols with him."

Yaronczyk said his partner would always like standing up in his kennel and licking his face while he was driving. He also loved to stare down anyone near the car even if it as a fellow K9 handler.

"Outside of work, when I would come in to run with him and exercise, he was a big baby," said Yaronczyk. "

He loved to play with his Kong and play keep away with the aggression balls we have at the kennels."

This is heartbreaking, and I feel like I lost a small piece of my career in a sense.

I know that when I come into the kennels the next time I won't see him wagging his tail waiting for me to come by and say hi.

I will always remember how great of a partner, friend, and family member he was. Breston will be truly missed and always remembered."

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