Wyoming Veterans Memorial Park in Cody will have a new addition next year, a statue honoring military service dogs. The monument will be only the fourth war dog memorial in the country.

The War and Service Dog Memorial was inspired by Mike, a Belgian Malinois who sniffed out explosives during the Iraq War. After serving two tours of duty, Mike was adopted by his handler, Powell, Wyo. resident Matthew Bessler.

Mike and Matt met at Fort Carson in Colorado, where they trained with the Army's 10th Special Forces Group canine bomb squad. During the war, Mike was credited with detecting thousands of explosive devices and was promoted to the rank of Major while Bessler earned two Bronze Stars for his service.

Tragically, after coming home, Mike was shot and killed by a man in Powell who claimed the dog attacked him. On Veteran's Day in 2015, Mike was honored with a funeral and full military burial. Now, his legacy will live forever along with the memory of the brave canine soldiers who sacrificed their lives to save others.

The statue will be unveiled at a ceremony next year, according to the Cody Enterprise.





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