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Apr-01-2012 23:48printcomments

Support USMC K-9 Combat Veteran MWD Sgt Beyco

SUPPORT Sgt Beyco by submitting your VOTE at for BEYCO. Sgt Beyco is listed in the Military Dog Category.

Sgt. Beyco USMC
Operation Beyco: Marine Corps MP Explosive Detection Dog and Military Working Dog Sgt Beyco, a K-9 Combat Veteran, has entered the 2012 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards Contest and needs your support and VOTES. (Photo Credits: Joe Kelly Sturm)

(LOUISVILLE, KY) - Marine Corps MP Explosive Detection Dog and Military Working Dog Sgt Beyco, a K-9 Combat Veteran, has entered the 2012 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards Contest and needs your support and VOTES. MWD Beyco worked and gave her whole life to the MARINE CORPS and was honored to be a MWD MARINE. She retired November 10, 2011 at Cherry Point, North Carolina. She now lives in Louisville, Kentucky with her handler, Joe Kelly Sturm, who cares for her medically and also provides her with lots of love, patience and comfort.

"Sgt Beyco is my hero," says Joe Kelly Sturm. "She is retired now and living a comfortable dog's life. She suffers from back and digestive problems. She also has PTSD and requires expensive medication, but I knew that when I adopted her. She is the only K-9 Veteran member standing with the Kentucky Patriot Guard and still standing for her fellow warriors. It is an honor to care for a K-9 War Hero. I want to see her win the 2012 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards. Once you read her story (see below*), she will be your hero also.

"SGT BEYCO is a combat veteran who served two tours in Iraq 2005-2008. She has eight medals and ribbons, ten Letters of Appreciation and a Letter of Accommodation for her second Tour of Duty in Iraq. She worked four Secret Service missions, teamed with the U.S. Marshall's and other police agencies and is credited for finding numerous weapons, IED's, and ammunition. She is a MARINE K-9 Hero. As a K-9 warrior, she is worthy of this award. Please help us WIN!

"We entered the 2012 American Humane Association Hero Dogs Award Contest in HONOR of the WAR DOGS of Vietnam who were left behind, GONE but not Forgotten, and in remembrance of our nation's fallen war heroes, the wounded and returning veterans."

American Humane Association's Hero Dog Awards™ were created in 2010 to celebrate the powerful relationships between dogs and people, to serve as a catalyst to advance society's understanding of the human-animal bond. Dogs are an invaluable part of our lives every day; as companion animals, service and therapy animals, animal soldiers, police officers and first responders and emerging heroes. American Humane Association advocates for the American values of caring, compassion and hope. The first annual star-studded awards show, held in October 2011, and hosted at the Beverly Hilton Hotel by Carson Kressley, is a new and ambitious effort to continually recognize “ordinary dogs that do extraordinary things.”

Operation Beyco

SUPPORT Sgt Beyco by submitting your VOTE at for BEYCO April 1, 2012 through June 30, 2012. You can submit one vote per dog per category every 24 hours. Sgt Beyco is listed in the Military Dog Category.

*Exclusive Interview with K-9 War Hero USMC MWD Sgt Beyco (Woof)

"After serving in the Marine Corps for ten years, I am retired now but still serving this great nation," says Sgt Beyco. "I live with my handler, Joe Kelly Sturm, a disabled Vietnam veteran, U.S. Army 1968-1972. We stand together as members of the Kentucky Patriot Guard Riders. I am one of only two K-9 veteran members in the nation, as I know of now. Since my retirement, I keep busy visiting schools, hospitals, prisons, rescue training programs, wounded warrior dinners, VFW and veterans functions. I was the only war dog in the first Welcome Home Iraq Veteran's Day parade in St Louis, Missouri. I enjoy telling my story and the stories of my fellow Military Working Dogs and informing others of the important and valuable work we do for our military and the lives we save. I love children and people. I love attention period! I am enjoying my retirement and am getting plenty of rest, exercise, care, love, attention and couch time.

"I was born in Germany December 2001 and brought to Lackland AFB in 2004. I worked and gave my whole life to the Marine Corps. I graduated from the University of Defeating Terrorist Iraq 2007 College: Finding Anything that Explodes and the Wires that Detonate Them. I received an Explosive Detection Master’s Degree. My Kennel Master said I was best Bomb Dog he ever had at Cherry Point, North Carolina. During my service, I brought two handlers home from a war zone to their loved ones. While serving in the Marine Corps I earned the Combat Action Ribbon, the Navy and Marine Achievement Medal and Iraq Campaign Medal 3-Stars, a Certificate of Commendation for my second deployment and ten Letters of Appreciation. I was also awarded the United States War Dogs Association Medal and Certificate of Service.

"I will smell you long before you see me." - USMC MWD Sgt Beyco, K-9 Combat Veteran

"My Marine Corps handlers were Corporal Aaron DeSalvo and Corporal Stacy Chester. I served in Iraq, Fallujah and throughout the Al Anbar province with both of these fine Marines. It was an honor to serve with them. During my first deployment in 2005-2006 with Cpl DeSalvo, we ran ops with 1st Recon Battalion and FAST Company in Fallujah. I also assisted a few Marine/Army Infantry Battalions. We conducted countless cache and IED route clearance sweeps, building searches and random vehicles searches finding AK 47's and 7.62 rounds. There were a few instances when we came under fire. We had one close event in October 2005. An Army SFC was shot twice by insurgents about five feet away from us during a firefight. In 2006 Cpl DeSalvo and I thwarted an ambush attempt on our convoy. We pulled six insurgents hiding in a canal with weapons, one with a suicide vest, who were trying to hide from my nose. We obtained enough information from the insurgents to conduct a raid later that night. The raid led us to valuable Intel on insurgent activity in that area.

"In 2006 I started working with Cpl Stacy Chester. We deployed back to Iraq in November 2007. We served with USMC units 3/5 Task Force 1/10, Iraqi police and Army. Cpl Chester and I logged over 1900 mission hours. I had a total of six finds including mortars, rounds, fuses and blasting caps. We secured areas to provide local medical care for the Iraqi people including clearing areas to help reestablish daily activities. We were utilized to find high value targets and to clear roadways for units we were attached to. We also worked various vehicle entry control points throughout Al Anbar province.

"In 2008, we returned back to the states. Cpl Chester and I worked at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina. We worked four different Secret Service missions and teamed with the U.S. Marshals. We also assisted several local agencies with bomb threats at court houses, schools and other buildings. I supported three air shows at Cherry Point as well as multiple VIP searches to include the Commandant of the Marine Corps. I worked almost every day. Thanks Corporal DeSalvo and Corporal Chester. I had a great ride. My watch is done. Now it is time to be just an old dog and enjoy life. That's my story!"

MWD BEYCO H100 Cherry Point March 2005 - November 10, 2011. Sgt Beyco retired on the Marine Corps 236th Birthday. SUPPORT OUR TROOPS and all MWD'S and Handlers.


Sgt Beyco's handler, Joe Kelly Sturm, hopes you will visit Sgt Beyco on her on her face book page and

The 2012 American Humane Association HERO DOG AWARDS site

Make Sgt Beyco's Hero Dog Award your cause:

Vote for Sgt Beyco from April 1, 2012 through June 30, 2012 - and that's no April Fool's.


Related Information:

Military War Dogs

The military uses a variety of breeds to serve as Military War Dogs. The most common breeds are the German shepherd and the Belgian Malinois. According to a fact sheet from the military working dog unit, the German shepherd and the Belgian Malinois have the best combination of keen sense of smell, speed, endurance, strength, courage, intelligence and adaptability to almost any climatic condition. As of 2011, 600 U.S. Military dogs were actively participating in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Military dogs are relied upon to provide early warning for potential hazards saving the lives of the Special Forces with whom they operate. Military working dogs are capable of achieving over a 98% success rate in bomb detection.

Thanks to a new law in 2000, retired military dogs may now be adopted. WWII Marine War Dog Platoon Leader/Veterinarian, Dr. William Putney, worked to change the war dog adoption law with the help of U.S. Congressman Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland. Prior to 2000, older war dogs were required to be euthanized.

From 1964-1973, America deployed approximately 4,000 war dogs and 10,000 handlers to help defend South Vietnam from invasion from North Vietnam.

There are numerous memorials dedicated to war dogs, including March Field Air Museum in Riverside, California; the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia. at the Naval Facility, Guam, with replicas at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in Knoxville; the Alfred M. Gray Marine Corps Research Center in Quantico, Virginia and the Alabama War Dogs Memorial at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, Alabama.

Military War Dogs provide a valuable service to our nation, displaying dignity, courage, and honor whether in training or operational setting.

The United States War Dogs Association Military Working Dog Adoptions Vietnam War Military Working Dog Teams


Soldier Dogs: The Untold Story of America's Canine Heroes by Maria Goodavage

Interview by Jon Stewart - The Daily Show - March 27, 2012

Soldier Dogs by Maria Goodavage

From Baghdad, With Love
A Marine, the War, and a Dog Named Lava

by Lieutenant Colonel Jay Kopelman with Melinda Roth

When Marines enter an abandoned house in Fallujah, Iraq, and hear a suspicious noise, they clench their weapons, edge around the corner, and prepare to open fire. What they find during the U.S. led attack on the "most dangerous city on Earth," however, is not an insurgent bent on revenge, but a tiny puppy left behind when most of the city's population fled before the bombing. Despite military law that forbids the keeping of pets, the Marines de-flea the pup with kerosene, de-worm him with chewing tobacco, and fill him up on Meals Ready to Eat. Thus begins the dramatic rescue attempt of a dog named Lava and Lava's rescue of at least one Marine, Lieutenant Colonel Jay Kopelman, from the emotional ravages of war.

Coral Anika Theill, reporter and advocate, is author of "BONSHEA: Making Light of the Dark." Her published works address trauma recovery and healing from post traumatic stress and most recently, wounded Marines, the Warrior Games and Montford Point Marines. Her writings have encouraged and inspired numerous trauma victims and wounded Marines/soldiers recovering from PTS. Coral's positive insights as a survivor have also earned the respect of clinical therapists, advocates, attorneys, professors and authors. Coral Theill believes

"The Gift of Healing is Our Birthright."

"Those who serve may already know the toll of having to kill or be killed, but civilian society should also recognize that those who go into battle defending our way of life pay a price. As a non-military writer researching the subject of Marines and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury and Suicide Prevention, I feel a deep gratitude to our servicemen and women and believe our society needs to do more to respect, understand and support those returning from deployment in conflict zones. Please share my most recent articles:

The Commandant of the Marine Corps on Post-Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury and Invisible Battle Scars: Confronting the Stigma of PTS and TBI with friends and family." - Coral Anika Theill, Author, Advocate and Contributing Writer for Leatherneck Magazine

Coral Anika Theill’s published book, BONSHEA, has been used as a college text for nursing students at Linfield College. BONSHEA: Making Light of the Dark can be ordered at:,, Email:

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied.

Coral Anika Theill September 24, 2012 6:14 am (Pacific time)

A Tribute to a special Marine Lady K9 To all Sgt Beyco's fans, please view Special Tribute Video for USMC K-9 Combat Veteran MWD Sgt Beyco

Coral Anika Theill August 18, 2012 6:13 am (Pacific time)

Congratulations to USMC Combat Veteran MWD Sgt Beyco for winning 2nd place in the Military Dog catagory, in the FIRST ROUND of the annual national competition of the HERO DOG AWARD CONTEST. Sgt Beyco and her handler, Joe Kelly, are thankful for everyone's support and votes. They ask their supporters to vote and support JYNX in the Law Enforcement catagory in FINAL ROUND of the contest ending Oct. 5th.

On June 29, 2011, Berks County Deputy Sheriff K-9 Handler Kyle Pagerly was shot and killed while attempting to execute a warrant. Gunfire started and Deputy Sherriff Pagerly was fatally wounded.

Jynx attempted to pull Deputy Sherriff Pagerly down the mountain to safety. Jynx also attempted to move another officer who was rendering assistance to Deputy Sherriff Pagerly out of harm’s way. If it would not have been for the brave actions of Jynx, many other officers would have lost their lives that day. Jynx is a Hero Dog in every way.

The final round of voting to select the 2012 American Hero Dog continues through October 5, 2012. Cast your vote each day until Oct. 5th for one dog in the eight categories for the Hero Dog Awards Contest.

LoyaltyOfDogs June 26, 2012 6:55 pm (Pacific time)

Job well done, Sgt. Beyco! Soldiers and their dogs bond for life--today, just as they did during the Civil War--and it's wonderful Beyco was able to retire and be adopted by her handler. Best wishes to both!

Coral Anika Theill May 15, 2012 7:14 am (Pacific time)

Remember to vote for USMC K-9 Combat Veteran MWD Sgt Beyco each day in the 2012 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards Contest through June 30, 2012. Thanks!

sam hatt April 22, 2012 7:30 am (Pacific time)

i am a proud supporter of MWD Sgt Beyco! I vote for her every day

Coral Anika Theill April 20, 2012 11:48 am (Pacific time)

I vote for Sgt Beyco every day and continue to share her incredible story with friends

Jeannie Orsini April 19, 2012 8:31 pm (Pacific time)

I've been voting for MWD Beyco every day. Truly a hero!!!

Frazer Kirkland April 19, 2012 10:13 am (Pacific time)

I have voted every day and will continue to do so. Semper Fi Beyco

BARBARA ROMANOSKI April 19, 2012 10:12 am (Pacific time)


M. Hayes April 19, 2012 10:09 am (Pacific time)

Sgt.Beyco gets my vote everyday!

Anonymous April 17, 2012 11:20 pm (Pacific time)

I vote every for her every day.

sam hatt April 17, 2012 9:13 pm (Pacific time)

i vote for beyco everyday and share her ya beyco

Robin Harbin April 17, 2012 7:59 pm (Pacific time)

Such an Honor to vote for Sgt.Beyco, and also sharing his story everyday. What an Honor to be in the field when you know he has your back, you have no worries.

Anonymous April 17, 2012 7:02 pm (Pacific time)

I voted for Sgt Beyco! Semper fi !

Robert Little April 17, 2012 6:52 pm (Pacific time)

I vote for Sgt (RET) MWD Beyco every day during this voting period,she is a true Pawed American hero,and deserves the award and the additional honor it would bestow on her.

Brenda Cook April 17, 2012 6:51 pm (Pacific time)

Sharing, recruiting and voting daily for Military Hero Sgt. Mwd Beyco 'cause she's earned it and deserves it!!!

Anonymous April 14, 2012 7:12 am (Pacific time)

May the luck of the Irish be with yip SGT Beyco! We all voting for you here in Ireland! xxx

Christine Nikolic April 13, 2012 8:09 pm (Pacific time)

Voted and shared~

Coral Anika Theill April 13, 2012 9:18 am (Pacific time)

I voted today and am voting everyday for USMC K-9 Combat Veteran MWD Sgt Beyco. She is so deserving of this award! I respect both Joe Kelly Sturm and Lady Beyco and envision them walking down the red carpet at the HERO DOG AWARDS! Thank you everyone for spreading the word about OPERATION BEYCO and for posting this article and Sgt Beyco's Interview on your Face book pages. The article is also posted on numerous USMC websites, Veteran's and K-9 websites. Keep networking and forwarding the article and Hero Dog Award link for Sgt Beyco. Every vote is important. Look for more articles on USMC K-9 Combat Veteran MWD Sgt Beyco in the very near future! Your comments are important too. OPERATION BEYCO 

Debbie Bennett April 13, 2012 8:41 am (Pacific time)

You have my vote, and sharing for this amazing Hero. We love you Sgt Beyco.

Angel Starr April 13, 2012 1:35 am (Pacific time)

Voting for my girl Beyco. Go girl power!

Angel Starr April 13, 2012 1:29 am (Pacific time)

Voting, sharing and recruiting :)

Grace Mc Keown April 13, 2012 12:49 am (Pacific time)

May the luck of the Irish be with you SGT Beyco, you have our vote here in Ireland !! xxx

Grace Mc Keown April 13, 2012 12:42 am (Pacific time)

Sgt Beyco story reached us all the way here in Ireland, you have my vote and I really enjoyed reading her impressive life story!! May the luck of the Irish be with you!!! xxxxx

Moyer April 12, 2012 11:03 pm (Pacific time)

I voted MWD Beyco

Amanda Black April 12, 2012 10:01 pm (Pacific time)

I vote everyday for this amazing retired MWD Sgt Beyco

Leslie M./-Atl, Ga. April 12, 2012 7:19 pm (Pacific time)

Sgt Beyco, You are Truly an Amazing girl and it is with Great Pride that I vote for you Daily!! Thanks for Everything!!! We Love You!!

Sg tMWD BEYCO April 12, 2012 5:19 pm (Pacific time)

Thanks Salem News for the Article which was Fantastic and PERFECT CORAL and running it as a Feature we really appreciate what you and Coral Anika Theill Have Done for my Lady Marine Hero. We Support you and Stand With you SEMPER FI And we Mean it!!!

Editor: Thanks for dropping by Sgt., hope retirement is everything you hoped it was, surely this popularity is keeping you running!  This story is heavily viewed right now on by the way; number one this month in our top 30 count of stories!  A commenter named Anthony sent one through that came in blank, please try again, thanks, Semper Fi's and high five's!

Sgt Beyco April 12, 2012 5:33 pm (Pacific time)

Thanks I voted For Myself SEMPER FI PAW CORAL

Ellen Riger April 12, 2012 5:04 pm (Pacific time)

I proudly voted for Sgt Beyco!

Anonymous April 12, 2012 4:53 pm (Pacific time)

I feel honored to vote for Sgt Beyco. She truly is a hero.!!!!!

Anonymous April 12, 2012 4:39 pm (Pacific time)

Too bad the dog cant fix THIS:

CK April 12, 2012 4:26 pm (Pacific time)

I vote for Beyco daily!

Christine Kozanda April 12, 2012 4:25 pm (Pacific time)

I vote for Beyco every day!!!!

Lee April 12, 2012 3:57 pm (Pacific time)

I support MWD Beyco and vote for her every day, she is already such a hero in my eyes!

sam hatt April 12, 2012 3:51 pm (Pacific time)

i vote for MWD SGT BEYCO every day. love that beyco!!!!

Anonymous April 12, 2012 3:31 pm (Pacific time)

I vote for Beyco everyday. She and other Working Dogs help keep us safe.

Tamara Santiago April 12, 2012 3:29 pm (Pacific time)

I vote Beyco everyday!!!

Betty O'Neil April 12, 2012 2:00 pm (Pacific time)

I vote for Beyco everyday.

Matt Yanzen April 12, 2012 3:03 pm (Pacific time)

Keep on voting for Beyco, our HERO !!!! Semper Fi !

Lisa Elliott April 12, 2012 2:58 pm (Pacific time)

I voted for this amazing hero! Good luck Sgt Beyco!

Linda Brouillet April 12, 2012 2:16 pm (Pacific time)

I vote everyday for this amazing retired MWD Sgt Beyco

Anonymous April 12, 2012 2:11 pm (Pacific time)

I've voted for Sgt Beyco...she's served her Country well and deserves to be recognized and honored. Semper fi girl..Well Done!

Frances Roseen April 12, 2012 12:15 pm (Pacific time)

My vote, every day! You are a hero!

anonymous April 12, 2012 12:09 pm (Pacific time)

Got my vote!

sue April 12, 2012 12:01 pm (Pacific time)

Sgt Beyco has my vote, what a girl!

WarmmMyst April 12, 2012 11:58 am (Pacific time)

Thank you Sgt Beyco! You have my vote.

Misty Van Keuren April 12, 2012 11:48 am (Pacific time)

I voted for Beyco

Dave April 12, 2012 11:48 am (Pacific time)

I voted

Denise B. April 12, 2012 11:43 am (Pacific time)

She has my vote!

Maria Jordan April 12, 2012 11:42 am (Pacific time)

I voted for you and will tell everyone I know.

Lisa April 12, 2012 11:42 am (Pacific time)

I voted for Mwd Beyco.

D.Neill April 12, 2012 11:41 am (Pacific time)


Robert Adams April 12, 2012 11:35 am (Pacific time)

I have followed this story for a year now. MWD Beyco is so deserving of this honor.I hope to meet her one day. I vote for her everyday.

Nancy Brewster April 6, 2012 6:59 pm (Pacific time)

You have my Vote to Sgt Beyco. You go precious one. What a huge heart. Give that precious baby a hug from me and my furs.

Lisa April 5, 2012 6:59 pm (Pacific time)

this is so awesome. I am so proud that she is with the Patriot Guard and I hope to meet her on one of our missions.

Anonymous April 3, 2012 4:31 pm (Pacific time)

She looks just like my Belgian, same silver/black coat. OOrah!

Schroeder April 3, 2012 2:36 pm (Pacific time)

Please nobody underestamate the role of this dog and others who went to this war and saved lives.

Anonymous April 2, 2012 3:20 pm (Pacific time)

You have my vote Sgt Beyco! Semper fi!

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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