Our four-legged soldiers hon­oured

A day for man’s best friend

Central and North Burnett Times - - LOCAL - Adam McCleery

San­dra Mo­er­land Ja­cob used to joke that the dogs would never com­plain no mat­ter what.

THE Aus­tralian De­fence Force has cel­e­brated Mil­i­taryWork­ing Dog Day this week, to recog­nise the role ser­vice dogs play in the armed forces.

Mother of the late Sap­per Ja­cob Mo­er­land said her son spoke about ser­vice dogs fondly and al­ways wel­comed their pres­ence.

“He thought that they were a valu­able as­set,” Mrs Mo­er­land said.

Ja­cob Mo­er­land was killed by a road­side ex­plo­sive six years ago on Tues­day, with his brother-in-arms Dar­ren Smith and Dar­ren’s ser­vice dog Her­bie.

“It is the six year an­niver­sary of their death to­day (Tues­day) and I think it’s a good day to choose to com­mem­o­rate ser­vice dogs,” Mrs Mo­er­land said.

“The dogs are like other soldiers to the boys and have their own ser­vice num­ber and they would al­ways be there for the boys af­ter a hard day.”

Mrs Mo­er­land said the com­pan­ion­ship the dogs of­fered went a long way for the soldiers.

“When the boys have had a gut­ful of the day the dog would al­ways be there and every­one would give it a pat, they are morale boost­ers over there for some of the boys.”

Mrs Mo­er­land was in Can­berra last year when the War Dogs Memo­rial was un­veiled.

“Dar­ren’s dad was there also; they are fan­tas­tic an­i­mals, I’ve got footage of Dar­ren car­ry­ing that dog across a flooded stream,” Mrs Mo­er­land said.

“Ja­cob used to joke that the dogs would never com­plain no mat­ter what.”

“They worked re­ally well with Her­bie.”

Mrs Mo­er­land said los­ing a ser­vice dog in ac­tion still hit soldiers hard de­spite what peo­ple may have thought.

“They didn’t just lose two soldiers the day that Ja­cob and Dar­ren were killed,” Mrs Mo­er­land said.

“They lost three soldiers that day with Her­bie.”

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

NEVER FOR­GOT­TEN: Sap­per Ja­cob Mo­er­land was killed by a road­side ex­plo­sive, along with ser­vice dog Her­bie.

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