WASHINGTON CITY – The Patriot Guard Riders of Southern Utah and other local veterans’ organizations held a memorial service Monday for Sgt. Comanche, an army horse from the United States 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Horse Detachment. Comanche was 22 years old, spent 16 years serving in Fort Irwin, Calif., then continued to serve locally with the traveling Vietnam Wall.
Comanche was a descendant of Comanche, the horse used by Gen. George Custer in his famous last stand at Little Big Horn and a fellow army veteran. Although it is less common to hear of horses as being honored veterans, the owners and caretakers of Comanche emphasized the role horses play in the army, their ability to serve loyally and honorably and the ranks awarded to these essential animals.
Comanche is no exception to this, as he has been a well-respected, decorated horse and will be missed by everyone who had had the opportunity to serve alongside him.
Doug Hunt was the final caretaker and owner of Comanche, and directed the memorial services.
“This is a military veteran. He is not just a horse,” said Hunt. “He’s been decorated, has medals and was a sergeant in the army for 16 years, more time than a lot of kids have.”
Patrick Arthur, a representative of the Black Horse Association, offered a prayer and ceremony to bless and honor Comanche, his gravesite and those who attended to pay their respects.
The final resting place for Comanche is on the Staheli Family Farm in Washington City.
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Ed. Note: Comanche’s title is seen in various uses as both SSG and Sgt. The memorial plaque in his honor refers to Sgt. Comanche, hence its use in this story.
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