James T. (Terry)
 
 Strickland

 

 

(VSPA Life Member 227)

 


Terry Strickland served in the USAF as a Sentry Dog Handler with service at  3rd SPS, Bien Hoa (1967-68), Republic of Vietnam with his K-9 partner King; 388th SPS, Korat Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand (1968-69) with his K-9 partner  Mr. Misty X851.

As an active member of the “Old Dawgs & Pups” program, Terry supported Military Working Dog teams (USAF, US Army, and US Navy) for more than five years of six-month deployments. He supported the troops while they were “Boots on the Ground” and continued each and every day to show his support for the American fighting men and women of the United States Military.

Terry was a founding member of the Nemo’s War Dog Heroes Memorial Committee. Following a VSPA reunion at Lackland in 2003 where the NWDHMC was formed, Terry volunteered thousands of hours of his time, along with his personal financial commitments, to the “Nemo Committee” and the Nemo Memorial. He personally committed “seed funds” for the memorial and continued to raise funds, built chain link fences, planted landscaping. He attend meetings with military personnel to research historical facts to ensure that the Nemo Memorial was accurate.

Terry was one of the primary planners in designing the Memorial. His drive to make the memorial as complete and accurate as the facts dictate from military reports and artifacts would allow, continued from the first day that the historical ground was discovered in 2003. Terry spent hundreds of hours researching military documents, assisting in logistics to ensure that the history of our MWD was captured for historical records.

Due to his efforts, the memorial stands as a constant historical reminder and symbol for all MWD handlers that pass through Lackland as handlers that have previously served, who are serving, and who will serve in this proud military profession.

In addition, Terry’s commitment to the Nemo Project never waivered, even at times when his personal health prohibited his day-to-day work on the project. He never compromised his pursuit to “make history right” and to keep the goal for an educational center to be established to the Nemo Memorial. Terry’s professional knowledge in governmental affairs has been and is still an extremely valuable tool in assisting the NWDHMC in its focus to ensure that the memorial is historically accurate.

Terry was responsible for obtaining the lost records of the “Dogs of Thailand” and tireless efforts assisting many handlers with being able to obtain those records where no records had previously existed. His tenacity and quest for the history of the “lost dogs” has closed many holes in the hearts of MWD handlers of the Vietnam era.

Terry donated hundreds, if not thousands of hours of his time and personal finances to projects for the VSPA, and other veteran organizations and groups. His commitment and energies for all of the above projects, programs, and services stood for an individual that served his country and fellow service veterans. Terry like many of us, was exposed to Agent Orange and paid the price.

 

Left To Right: Terry Strickland, Kelly Bateman, Bill Cummings, and Ernie Childers--the driving force behind the Nemo War Dog Memorial.                                                            Until then, Nemo's kennel location had been a bare concrete slab.

He will be missed, but not forgotten.

 

 

                      

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