Wyoming statue to honor military dogs will be ready in 2019; Dubois-native is project sculptor

A statue celebrating military dogs and their handlers is on schedule for a Memorial Day 2019 unveiling according to the Cody Enterprise.

The statue will be part of Cody’s Veterans Memorial Park. The memorial was inspired by Powell resident and Iraqi war veteran Matt Bessler and his dog, Mike.

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After both Bessler and Mike were discharged from service, Bessler’s dog was killed in a 2015 incident. A cyclist said the dog was attacking him and he shot and killed it.

Since then, Bessler has helped with efforts for the memorial. It was originally planned for unveiling in 2017 but was delayed for a variety of reasons.

The sculptor for the statue is John Phelps. John is the father of Chance Phelps. Phelps was a Dubois native and Marine who died while serving in Iraq. Phelps’ story of heroism received national attention, inspiring the movie ‘Taking Chance.’  

John is from the Dubois area but now resides in Cody.

There are currently only three other military dog statues in the United States.

The Cody Enterprise has more details on this story and photos of the statue that you can see by clicking here. 

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