On June 17, 2013, the military community lost another of its great retired MWD’s. And Joe Sturm lost his best friend.
Joe says it best on his Facebook page
“I lost my girl tonight at 9:30 pm June 17th 2013. I draped her in the American Flag, hugged and kissed her, told her I loved her and saluted her. When they opened her up tonight, they found too much Abdominal Cancer, so I had to let her go home. She’s running and playing at the Rainbow Bridge now. I miss her dearly and she knows it. She loved all of you and I thank all of you who supported her and commented and shared her photos and lived her life out with us; you are special and appreciated by Beyco. Semper Fi MWD Beyco, USMC, I love you and will never forget you. It was an Honor to hold your leash.”
For those of you who didn’t know retired MWD Beyco H100, she was a combat veteran who served two tours in Iraq 2005-2008. Beyco worked four Secret Service missions, teamed with the U.S. Marshals and other police agencies and is responsible for finding many weapons, IED’s and ammunition.
Beyco was a former EDD, and highly decorated for her service. She also won second place in the 2012 Hero Dog Awards.
Beyco served in the U.S. Marine Corps for ten years before retiring. During her service, Beyco also had to fight off hungry wild dogs, who were running in packs. So not only did she after to protect her fellow soldiers, she also had to protect herself.
Beyco was born in Germany in December 2001, and came to Lachland AFB in 2004. Her Marine Corp handlers were My Marine Corps handlers were Corporal Aaron DeSalvo and Corporal Stacy Chester. In 2006, Beyco and Cpl. DeSalvo thwarted a convoy attack. She and Army Cpl. Chester logged more than 1900 mission hours.
There’s an excellent article here on Beyco, where she describes her service to country in her own words. http://www.salem-news.com/articles/april012012/sergeant-beyco-ca.php
After retiring on November 10, 2011 at Cherry Point, NC, Beyco was adopted by retired Vietnam veteran Joe Strum.Joe took her to his home in Louisville, Kentucky where she started her new life as a retired MWD.
Although retired, she and Joe remained active in many military functions. Joe believed he and Beyco shared a lot in common, both being veterans who saw battle.
Beyco struggled with post traumatic stress disorder, which is now known to be common in MWD’s. She also had back problems, as well as problems with her digestive system and pancreas. She was on expensive medication just to live day by day.
Her final duty for her country was to serve Joe, which she did with the same dedication she showed to her country.
Rest in peace, dear girl. You served your country and your master well. You are truly an American heroine.