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Navy SEAL Museum Facilitates Imperial Beach Military Working Dog Memorial

Imperial Beach, Ca. – October 31, 2019 – The Navy SEAL Museum was honored to support a special request from the City of Imperial Beach, California. The San Diego County city recently commissioned a Navy SEAL canine statue to honor the service of military working dogs. The SEAL K-9 Memorial will be unveiled at Imperial Beach’s Veterans Park at 10:00 AM on November 9, Veterans Day Weekend.

The inspiration for the memorial came from a local San Diego Navy SEAL who worked with a trusted canine partner during his time in the Teams. The vision for the memorial was to create a life-size bronze statue of a military working dog to help convey their importance in SEAL Teams. It honors all military working dogs for their fierce and faithful service, represented by one canine, in particular, “Chopper.”

Imperial Beach City Manager Andy Hall contacted the Navy SEAL Museum earlier this year for help with military working dog history and funding.

“We are very thankful for the willingness of the Navy SEAL Museum to help us erect a moment here in Imperial Beach to one of the first K-9 units of the Navy SEALs,” said Andy Hall, City Manager of the City of Imperial Beach.

Chopper served alongside his SEAL Handler, Trevor Maroshek, for several years in the Teams. Chopper passed in June of 2018, but not before a decorated career and life of ongoing service following retirement from active duty. Initially integrated into various tactical training activities, Chopper ultimately cumulated to combat service. He was instrumental in furthering the development of the SEAL’s Multipurpose Canine (MPC) Program as it is known today with specific training techniques and applications.

Chopper is credited with saving the life of his handler and other Teammates during his service; he continued to contribute as a service dog for Maroshek, who suffered with PTSD after his retirement in 2012. As a result, this handler and canine team helped pave the way for future operators to have the same benefit with their dogs upon retirement.

Young Fine Art Studio, Inc. created the statue in the image of Chopper. Conti and Son Monument Company is responsible for the stone base and installation, while Imperial Beach Trophies made the bronze plaque.

“The Museum is pleased to have facilitated this project, “ said Rick Kaiser, Navy SEAL Museum Executive Director. “The memorial honors not only the life of Chopper and his invaluable role on the Teams, but also helps to raise further awareness of the importance of working dogs in the lives of their handlers post-military.“

The memorial unveiling will be held outdoors and open to the public. Veterans Park is located at 1075 8th Street in Imperial Beach, CA, 91932.

About The Navy SEAL Museum
The National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum is the only museum dedicated solely to preserving the history of the U.S. Navy SEALs and their predecessors. Located in Fort Pierce, Florida, the Museum resides on the training grounds of the original Navy combat divers, the Frogmen. Built to honor the men who served with fortitude and ingenuity, the Navy UDT-SEAL Museum first opened its doors on Veterans Day in 1985. From humble beginnings, the facility has experienced tremendous growth, achieving national stature in 2007. The main objective of the Museum remains the promotion of public education by providing the opportunity to explore the history of the Navy SEALs through interactive exhibits, while honoring the fallen at the SEAL Memorial and caring for those warriors’ families through Trident House Charities.


The Navy SEAL Museum
For further information, contact:
Elaine Ryan
Phone: (772) 595-5845
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