Marine and Working Dog Killed in Afghanistan Honored on Labor Day

A fallen Marine and his military working dog will be forever memorialized in a newly dedicated multi-purpose dog kennel for the 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. The kennel, which is now named the Corporal David M. Sonka Multi-Purpose Canine Facility, also features a bronze statue of a working dog and was dedicated in a ceremony on September 7.

Cpl. David Sonka was only 23 when he and his canine partner, Flex, were killed in an insider attack by an Afghan soldier in Afghanistan in 2013. Another Marine, Staff Sgt. Eric Christian, who was 39, was also killed in the attack.

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According to a 2013 article in the Denver Post, Flex reportedly tried to save his handler, a brave act that ultimately cost him his life.

All of the multi-purpose dogs for the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command on the East Coast are housed at the Corporal David M. Sonka Multi-Purpose Canine Facility, the Marine Times reported, adding that it can hold about 20 dogs at one time. The multi-purpose dogs are trained to sniff out explosives and humans and help guard and protect.