Honoring the Fallen: A Soldier and His Dog

A soldier and his dog

Cpl. Kory Wiens and Cooper sharing a cot in Iraq. They were the first K9 team killed in Iraq, when an IED exploded in 2007, and they are now being honored on two military bases.

photo courtesy YouTube

We’ve posted several times about the hero dogs serving in the military, both at home and overseas, but this is the most touching story we’ve run across. Corporal Kory Wiens of Independence, Oregon, so loved the dog he worked with in Iraq, a yellow lab named Cooper, that he planned to stay in the Army long enough to adopt the dog when his bomb-sniffing career ended. Tragically, both were killed by an improvised explosive device while on patrol in 2007. They were the first such dog team to be killed in action in Iraq. They died together, their ashes were buried together, and now they will be remembered together.

Last Friday, an Army post in Colorado dedicated a dog park in honor of Kory and Cooper. Although Wiens had no connection to Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, his story resonated with the folks there. At Fort leonard Wood in Missouri, where Wiens and Cooper were stationed, a dog kennel and veterinary center have been named after Wiens. Read the full story in the Colorado Springs Gazette. Watch the video below for a touching tribute to the pair, but be warned: you’ll need some tissues. The love between the man and his dog is on powerful display here, and we’re glad their memory is being honored so publicly.

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