Second cousins – both dog handlers – honored
for military service in Vietnam and Afghanistan
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Rod Hirsch, Operation Shoebox New Jersey
firstname.lastname@example.org or (908) 698-0333
July 7, 2013 will be a proud day for the extended Luthman family as Air Force Staff Sergeant Kyle Luthman and Vietnam veteran Nels Luthman are honored for their service to their country 40 years apart from one another.
The Somerset Patriots and AT&T will honor both men for their military service during the Sunday, July 7th “Stars’n’Stripes celebration at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, NJ. Gates open at 4 p.m. The ceremonies will precede the game, with the first pitch scheduled at 5:05 p.m. The game is sponsored by Operation Shoebox New Jersey.
Tickets are $10 and are available by calling (908) 698-0333. All proceeds will be donated to Operation Shoebox New Jersey.
Kyle and Nels are second cousins and share a common bond beyond family. They are proud members of an elite group within the military community - expert military dog handlers.
Nels was drafted in 1971 after graduating college, went through Basic Training at Fort Dix, NJ and received six months of training as a dog handler and tracker at Fort Gordon, Ga., before deploying to Vietnam where he paired up with Casey, both serving in the 48th Scout Dog unit out of Da Nang. The team parted company at the end of Nels’ deployment 1972. He headed home to Piscataway and Casey was returned to Lackland Air Force Base in Florida, where she served for another two years. She was one of only 204 military guard dogs that returned safely to the United States from Vietnam.
Staff Sergeant Kyle Luthman, who trained at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey, has served in Europe, and has been deployed and served with Military Working Dogs in Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and Oman, all in support of the global war on terrorism.
For his service in Vietnam, Nels was awarded the US Army Combat Infantry Badge, Army Commendation Medal and Air Medal for participating in over 20 air assault missions where troops were inserted into battle zones by helicopter.
Kyle has been awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal; Air Force Achievement Medal; Air Force Combat Action Medal; Air Force Good Conduct Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal; Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; and NATO Medal. During his Afghanistan deployment, Staff Sergeant Luthman worked with soldiers from the US Army 1st Infantry Division and conducted over 45 missions with Fara. The dog also served in Iraq with a previous handler.
In between deployments, Kyle has conducted demonstrations with military working dogs in New York’s Times Square; at the New York Stock Exchange and on national television.
Nels, who grew up and lived in Piscataway, is a retired school teacher now living in Toms River. He and his wife Ginny have two children and two grandsons. Kyle, a graduate of Bridgewater High School, is married to Brielle. The couple lives in Bridgewater with Fara, who retired from the Air Force in 2012 and “transitioned” to civilian life.
Both men are from military families. Nels’ father, Nels Sr. served aboard a U.S. destroyer escort in the South Pacific during World War II. Kyle’s father Joseph served in the Navy; grandfather, Carl Luthman – who also served in the South Pacific aboard an amphibious attack ship - and grandmother, Catherine Luthman, both served in the Navy during WWII.
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Second cousins – both dog handlers – honored for military service in Vietnam and Afghanistan FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Rod Hirsch, Operation Shoebox New Jersey email@example.com or (908) 698-0333 July 7, 2013 will be a proud day for the extended Luthman family as Air Force Staff Sergeant Kyle Luthman and Vietna...
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