Rebecca’s War Dog of the Week: Remembering Kory and Cooper
By Rebecca Frankel Chief Canine Correspondent In the summer of 2007 Cpl. Kory D. Wiens, 20, succumbed to wounds received after an IED went off while he was on patrol in Muhammad Sath, Iraq. Alongside of him that day was Cooper, his bomb-sniffing yellow Labrador, who was also killed in the attack. Their remains were ...
By Rebecca Frankel
By Rebecca Frankel
Chief Canine Correspondent
In the summer of 2007 Cpl. Kory D. Wiens, 20, succumbed to wounds received after an IED went off while he was on patrol in Muhammad Sath, Iraq. Alongside of him that day was Cooper, his bomb-sniffing yellow Labrador, who was also killed in the attack. Their remains were sent home to Dallas, Oregon where the Wiens family buried Kory and Cooper’s ashes together.
The press release issued by the Oregon National Guard a couple of days after his death, commended the work Kory and Cooper did together:
Their abilities to detect TNT, C-4, detonation cords, smokeless powder and mortars saved countless lives by taking explosives and other IED manufacturing materials off the streets of Iraq.”
The press release also noted that Kory was “an easy going kid,” “a good story teller” and that he and Cooper “shared a special bond, [and spent] most of their time together.” Last week, officials at Fort Carlson in Colorado honored the team by dedicating The Cpl. Wiens and Cooper Dog Park to their memory.
Kory’s family, who attended the dedication ceremony, told reporters that he often referred to Cooper as his kid, and fretted over being away from his dog while he was on leave. The young handler even had hopes of re-enlisting after his three-years of service were complete “in hopes of remaining Cooper’s handler and then adopting him when Cooper was retired.”
A stinging detail of Kory’s devotion to Cooper came after the Army returned personal effects to the family. “There were so many dog toys,” Kory’s grandmother told the AP.
In his MySpace bio — the page, over five years old, is still active and now serves as a memorandum message board — the former high school quarterback wrote:
“My name is Kory Wiens, I like to work on trucks and cars. Im from Albany Oregon. … I love my dog that I have here, he is the best thing in Ft.Leonard Wood. My job is to play with him all day! … Now Im in Iraq!!!!! Having alot of fun, hard to belive huh? Well I have Cooper with me so everything is alright. Hopefulley … .”
His profile picture is of Cooper, fast asleep in his crate.
More from Foreign Policy
A New Multilateralism
How the United States can rejuvenate the global institutions it created.
America Prepares for a Pacific War With China It Doesn’t Want
Embedded with U.S. forces in the Pacific, I saw the dilemmas of deterrence firsthand.
The Endless Frustration of Chinese Diplomacy
Beijing’s representatives are always scared they could be the next to vanish.
The End of America’s Middle East
The region’s four major countries have all forfeited Washington’s trust.