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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

Camp Pendleton commemorates a sign from a fallen friend

By Cpl. Brianna Turner | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | July 22, 2013

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Staff Sgt. Andrew Reid, the canine chief with the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Police Department, and Jon Hemp, the co-founder of The Dawgs Project, unveil the Camp Pendleton War Dogs sign here July 20. The sign was made by Sgt. Adam L. Cann before he was killed in action by a suicide-bomb attack on an Iraqi police recruitment center.

Staff Sgt. Andrew Reid, the canine chief with the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Police Department, and Jon Hemp, the co-founder of The Dawgs Project, unveil the Camp Pendleton War Dogs sign here July 20. The sign was made by Sgt. Adam L. Cann before he was killed in action by a suicide-bomb attack on an Iraqi police recruitment center. (Photo by Cpl. Brianna Turner)


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Military Working Dog handlers and their dogs salute the colors before the unveiling of the Camp Pendleton War Dogs sign here July 20. The sign was made by Sgt. Adam L. Cann and commemorates his ultimate sacrifice in Iraq where he was killed in action by a suicide-bomb attack.

Military Working Dog handlers and their dogs salute the colors before the unveiling of the Camp Pendleton War Dogs sign here July 20. The sign was made by Sgt. Adam L. Cann and commemorates his ultimate sacrifice in Iraq where he was killed in action by a suicide-bomb attack. (Photo by Cpl. Brianna Turner)


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Sgt. Angelo Melendez, a Military Working Dog handler stands with his Military Working Dog during the unveiling of the Camp Pendleton War Dogs sign here July 20. The sign was made by Sgt. Adam L. Cann before he was killed in action by a suicide-bomb attack on an Iraqi police recruitment center.

Sgt. Angelo Melendez, a Military Working Dog handler stands with his Military Working Dog during the unveiling of the Camp Pendleton War Dogs sign here July 20. The sign was made by Sgt. Adam L. Cann before he was killed in action by a suicide-bomb attack on an Iraqi police recruitment center. (Photo by Cpl. Brianna Turner)


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Jon Hemp, the co-founder of The Dawgs Project, speaks to Lt. Col. Kevin Prindiville, the provost marshal with the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Police Department, during the sneak preview of the Dawgs of War exhibit at the Ranch House here July 20. service members, families and friends joined together at the exhibit before unveiling a sign at the Provost Marshals kennels.

Jon Hemp, the co-founder of The Dawgs Project, speaks to Lt. Col. Kevin Prindiville, the provost marshal with the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Police Department, during the sneak preview of the Dawgs of War exhibit at the Ranch House here July 20. service members, families and friends joined together at the exhibit before unveiling a sign at the Provost Marshals kennels. (Photo by Cpl. Brianna Turner)


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CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --

Service members, families and friends joined together for the unveiling of the Camp Pendleton War Dogs sign here July 20.

Sgt. Adam L. Cann created the sign before he was killed in action, at the age of 23, by a suicide-bomb attack on a police recruitment station in Ramadi, Iraq.

The day began with a sneak preview of the Dawgs of War exhibit at the Ranch House here. The exhibit is a display of pictures and statues dedicated to military working dogs and their handlers.

“We just left the War Dawgs exhibit over at the Ranch house,” said Lt. Col. Kevin Prindiville, the provost marshal with the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Police Department. “It really recognizes the accomplishments and sacrifices of the canine community. This is also to moralizing Sgt. Cann and the influence that he has on everyone here, and we’re commemorating his ultimate sacrifice.”

After a tour of the exhibit the group traveled to the Provost Marshals kennels here, where the sign would be displayed.

“This is an indescribable honor for an old dog to be here today to recognize a young man who has become an icon,” said Jon Hemp, the co-founder of The Dawgs Project.  “I love this kid, he is everything that my generation hoped to accomplish, and he gave the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.”

Hemp played a large role in moving and displaying the sign over the years.

“I was sitting in a class room in 2009 when I got a phone call saying the sign needed to be relocated or it would be thrown away, due to the remodeling of the kennel facility,” said Hemp. “Well, no one puts Adam Cann’s sign in a dumpster.”

“We had arrangements to have it secured at March Air Base,” said Hemp. “It has been gone a long time, it belongs here; this is your sign. I cannot tell you how absolutely proud I am to have any part in moving this sign back here and presenting it to you today.”

According to Prindiville, Sgt. Cann has had a huge impact on the community because he was the first military dog handler killed in action since the Vietnam era.

“The bond that we see in this community, and seeing the important role that canines have made is truly great,” said Prindiville. “During Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, we saw a lot of evolving capabilities, being out there on patrols putting themselves in harms way.”

While there have been great improvements in technology over the years nothing can replace the human nature of military dog handlers or the instincts of the working dogs, said Prindiville.

“We can’t put a price tag on the number of lives they have saved and the success that they have had on the battle field so it is important to pay our respects to that,” said Prindiville.



4 Comments


  • Smitter just 1 years 46 days ago
    SchoolSchoolI have known Adam since we were in elementry Schoolschool.we have been close friends for at least 10 years... I am so proud of everything everyone has done in his memory..he really was a great man,friend, and brother..II
  • Piero Sevilla 1 years 88 days ago
    Wow, Awasome
  • joan palmer 1 years 91 days ago
    how wonderful that the sign was saved and to recognize adams accomplishment. kudos to the people who were involved in the movement of the sign.
  • Peteone Haasbroek 1 years 93 days ago
    I admirire what u guys are doing ! Sure is a Unit that will always be a cut above the rest!

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