A Puyallup woman traveled to Fayetteville, NC to pay her respects to the military dog that saved her son-in-law’s life while he was
on patrol in Iraq.
According to the Fayetteville (NC) Observer, Bahco was a Belgian Malinois trained for detecting improvised explosive devices with the 2nd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, that included Staff Sgt. Josh Breffle, who is Rebecca Hartmann’s son-in-law.
Ms. Hartmann was in North Carolina with her husband Steve to visit her brother and sister-in-law, but she was also there to visit the Special Operations Forces K9 Memorial for 65 fallen military dogs, including Bahco.
“I’m going to bawl my eyes out,” Hartmann, 57, was saying Friday morning, just outside the Airborne & Special Operations Museum. “He was so brave … .”
Here’s how Sgt. Breffle, who is now a youth minister in Bonney Lake, described the day Bahco saved him and 4 other soldiers:
“We were in the middle of the desert. We had hit a target and the target fled, and myself and four others took out to interdict him. We chased him about a half mile when he stopped, surrendered and threw his hands up in the air. I decided to send Bahco toward him.”
As Bahco approached the Iraqi soldier detonated an explosive vest that killed both him and the dog.
“I knew without a doubt that Bahco had just saved my life,” Sgt. Breffle told the Observer.
After he died Bahco’s remains were cremated and are now at Ft. Lewis where Sgt. Breffle still visits his fellow soldier.
Ms. Hartmann left a bouquet of flowers and a picture of her daughter’s family on Bahco’s paver.
“There was just so much emotion,” she told the Observer. “He was so brave, and so protective of those in his platoon.”