Weezy the MWD (Military Working Dog) was born in 2009. As he nestled with the rest of the litter, did his assuredly overtaxed mother have an inkling that her son, a very good boy, was destined for greatness?
Did she know that her Weezy would go on to serve a grateful nation, subjecting himself to all types of danger, a dedication eclipsed only by the unremitting love he had for his handlers?
It’s likely no one will never know how Weezy felt about his mother. Military working dogs are notoriously bad at opening up about their feelings.
Either way, her little pooch soon embarked on a 10-year military journey that culminated in a retirement ceremony at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy, on Dec. 17.
At the tender age of two, Weezy began explosives training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, in 2011.
The Navy has yet to comment on rumors that Weezy’s dogtailer initially promised him a skate office billet in San Diego before he got orders to Fort Bragg to join the Marine Corps. Still, dogs make do, and Weezy reported to Twentynine Palms, California, later that year in advance of an Afghanistan deployment.
Downrange, Weezy protected his battle buddies, helping them avoid improvised explosive devices, “supporting and defending countless service members,” according to a Navy release on Weezy’s retirement.
Photos from his retirement ceremony indicate that Weezy was chillin’ pretty hard as sailors sang his praise.
Weezy, who rendered no salute as the sailors who loved him presented him with a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, appears to be largely over the pomp and circumstance, secure in his DD214 blankie and the fact that the Chief’s Mess could no longer jam him up.
The Navy has not clarified whether Weezy’s shadowbox was edible, containing Snausages, Pupperonis, or both.
“Few will ever know the bond that is felt between a (military working dog) and their handler,” Chief Master-at-Arms Jordyn Japec said during Weezy’s ceremony. “It is saying ok, lets go sweep this roadway for explosives before we go tackle an objective. It is searching a building, and having the confidence in each other’s ability to let everyone back in.”
There’s also a connection the rest of the world doesn’t see.
“It is the genuine joy that handler and the dog feel from just each other’s company,” Japec continued. “It is the only familiar face during long down-range deployments. It is the wag of a tail and a cold nose before, during and after a long day at work, and sometimes the only sanity during our chaotic days.”
After Afghanistan, Weezy returned to Fort Bragg in 2012 and served there for several years.
After an inter-service transfer brought him back to the Navy ranks, the good boy sustained “severe injuries” during a search exercise at Naval Station Souda Bay, Greece, in early 2020, fracturing his tibia and fibula in the process.
“It took Weezy 19 months, including three surgeries and rehabilitation, to finally get back to fit-for-duty status,” the Navy said.
With active-duty life behind him, Weezy is heading for retirement with a former handler in North Carolina.
He looks forward to recording veteran videos of himself from the driver’s seat of his car for TikTok, opining on the state of society and how the other side of the political divide has it all wrong.
Geoff is a senior staff reporter for Military Times, focusing on the Navy. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was most recently a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.