On March 9, 2013, a headstone will be installed at the base of the Michigan War Dog Memorial honoring Sergeant Sparks for his heroic military service during the annual K-9 Veterans' Day Celebration at the Michigan Memorial War Dog Cemetery.
Jo Johnson from Albuquerque, New Mexico, said, "I saw the article about Sgt. Sparks in The United States War Dog Association Newsletter and couldn't help myself to help your group (I cried when I read it). After talking to Phil Weitlauf, Director of the Michigan War Dog Memorial, I decided to donate the entire amount for the headstone."
She further stated, "glad to do it. My family is proud to be a part of this...Son doesn't mind my spending some of his inheritance! The thought of my Aaron being buried without a headstone or some kind of recognition would make me cry forever."
Johnson also has a retired MWD Aron/F300 out of Kirkland AFB, NM. He was TDY to Ba'Qubah, Iraq.
Aron was born in January of 2002 and has completed 3 tours in Iraq doing bomb detection work. The photo accompanying this article shows him sitting on 17 lbs. of Czech made C-4 along with numerous discs buried in a farmer's field under a foot of dirt.
Aron worked with the Secret Service for "Presidential Guard Duty" after Iraq. "I always wondered why he gets so excited when a helicopter flies near the house," Johnson quipped.
Aron's military service:
5-8 Oct 2008
TDY to Nashville, TN Presidential support
14-16 Oct 2008
Grand Rapids, MI Presidential support
26-27 May 2009
Colorado Springs, CO Presidential support
Oct 2009-Mar 2010
Deployed Ali Al Saleem, Kuwait
Daniel P. Wilson Jr., SSgt, USAF
Trainer, 377 Military Working Dog Section
"One thing I don't mind sharing is that I am the daughter of a career Navy fighter pilot, CAPT. William James (Jim) Forgy, USN, Ret (deceased). So, I grew up on Naval Air Stations and saw the working dogs on a regular basis...and I loved them! My Father was one of the Navy jet pilots over Cuba during the Bay of Pigs. My background is where I get my strong sense of patriotism. I had been owned by two wonderful German Shepherds during my adult life, so when my 13 year old Maltese passed away in 2007, I waited until 2011 to start thinking about letting another Shepherd own me. I heard about adopting older, retired military dogs and called Kirtland AFB. They did have one that was suitable for civilian adoption and that was Aron F300.
"The names of my other shepherds were Arnold and Auggie, so I felt like adopting Aron was meant to be. After getting acquainted at the base and going through the background and security checks, I was called to come to the base to pick Aron up, signed the K-9 contract with the Department of Defense and brought him to his forever home on July 15, 2011."