BIO: by Sgt. Corey McCourt & June Etlinger
Mina was a hard worker and grumpy at the same time. He was very good at his job and did it well. When all the younger dogs were ready to call it quits, this ‘old and crusty dog’ was still willing to go out and do his job.
He served with the British for two deployments to Bosnia where his career began. Eventually he was transferred to the United States.
In 2003 he was brought to Lackland AFB and tattooed for the American Army. His serial number F-735,
Over the years, throughout his career, he was seen as a happy, healthy, well-behaved dog. He was sharp and to the point. He did his job well and never knew when to quit.
While I worked Mina he was such an old soul, and laid back. He never barked. Only once I got him home, and he was introduced to my wife's cat. It was the 1st time I had seen him move that fast, and bark.
In May 2009, Mina and I won “Top Mine Dog”. In the Military working dog competition.
During our 1st deployment together, we stayed in a hotel with two beds. As it became bedtime, I pointed to one of the beds and said "bed". As always he obeyed, then I went and lay down on my bed getting settled to fall asleep. But, I felt him jump onto my bed and lay right next to me. I got right up, and corrected him "NO! down!" then pointed to his bed "BED!" He followed his orders. Again, as I was getting settled to fall asleep Mina came and jumped up on my bed again all excited. That time I picked him up and put him physically on his bed and said, "STAY!" Well I ended up falling asleep thankfully alone that night. Only to wake up to Mina's 75lb spooning with me in the morning. Now every time it comes to sleeping in the same room, I do not fight him anymore and we share the bed.
When visits were to the kennels for whatever reason, Mina walked around as if he owned the place and everyone knew who he was. I was lucky enough in 2011 to see my son come home from his third deployment. In which I was there, standing with two of his children and his faithful dog. Mina strutted around the place and went up to all the soldiers and greeted them. Everyone knew who he was. He lay at my side while we waited for the caravan to bring our soldiers home. When the truck pulled up, Mina sat at attention and waited until Corey came to him. It was an event I will never forget. The bond with these two soldiers is one I will never forget. I always loved how loyal he was. He was a true best friend, always excited to greet me.’
After retiring, Mina led a good life with the McCourt’s. When asked why Mina gets human food, Corey’s simple answer was always ‘He earned it and I’m going to let him retire in style.’ He was protective over the children and you could often find him napping at their feet.
After 9 tours in Afghanistan and two in Bosnia, our Military Hero has crossed over. He led a good life and our son who I am very proud of, deserves to have his dog recognized.
Mina will always be in our hearts and soul. And it is with great pride that he was a part of our family history. Hopefully he will be talked about for a long time.