The Beautiful Final Moments of A Much-Loved Military Service Dog

Morgan Sterling
by Morgan Sterling
A canine hero passes away and receives a fitting tribute. Rico the military hero dog was given his final salute surrounded by friends and family.

It is always a hard day when American hero passes away. Rico, the German Shepherd, was a much loved military service dog and partner to soldier Russ Beckley Jr. when the two went on tour in Afghanistan. Rico would go on to assist in 240 missions with the US Army, bravely serving his country no matter what dangerous situation presents itself. Rico was a dog who exemplified courage, facing over 30 massive firefights while never once calling it quits.

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Rico retired in 2012 after a long and honorable military career a serious injury sustained in 2011. As Beckley Jr. remained in active service, his parents Tammy and Beckley Sr. became Rico’s caregivers. Civilian life was not the easiest to get used to for Rico, who was used to the daily terrors of active combat. Rico was trained as an aggressor, meaning he was capable of on command acts of hostility and confrontation on the battlefield. Though this training made Rico perfect for missions, his capability for aggression was initially intimidating to Beckley’s parents.

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However, Beckley’s parents were not going to give up on Rico and were ready to take on the challenge. It took a little while for both Rico and his new family to learn to trust each other, but once they did, they were inseparable. Rico became especially bonded to Beckley Sr. and soon refuse to leave his side. It was said that Rico would wait diligently all day for Beckley to return and always greeted him with excitement. The rest of Rico’s days were spent with the family that loved him dearly and dedicated their lives to making sure he was happy. Senior stated that Rico was “one of the best things that ever happened to [him].”

In 2014 Rico began showing signs of illness, and after countless brave battles for his life in the hospital, the painful decision was made for Rico to finally be at peace. Rico’s new family held a ceremony at their home, inviting members of the community and Rico’s fellow service members you give him one last goodbye and a final salute. The exchange was tearful, but Rico was made to know just how loved he was. When the service concluded, Rico was helped by a family veterinarian to pass on peacefully. Rico was given the honorable send off he deserved as a US veteran. A 21 gun salute was arranged in his honor, and the US flag was flown at half-mast. Rico was brought to his final resting place draped in the American flag as his country mourned the loss of a true hero.

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Rico’s memory lives on in the countless lives he saved during his service to this country, we thank him for his fierce patriotism and dedication to our army. Our hearts go out to the Beckley family as we mourn with them and we keep them in our hearts during these sad times. Rico, we salute you and we hope that you are now at peace.

[Source: Today]

Morgan Sterling
Morgan Sterling

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