Aura – a Military Working Dog , Patriotic Marine

By Faye Higbee

Aura – a Military Working Dog, Patriotic Marine

Aura is a retired Military Working Dog, and a Marine herself. She loves her Marine handler, Mark Daniels.  She’s a patriot through and through, and was nearly killed in an IED explosion in Afghanistan. She’s in a contest for ‘Patriotic Pup’…Here’s why this particular MWD deserves to get your vote:

The “Aura of a Marine”

On June 8, 2013, Marine Mark Daniels and his Military Working Dog Aura had spent the entire day searching for explosives in Afghanistan. At the end of the patrol, they and other Marines loaded up their MRAP and headed back to base.

Suddenly,  a 200 lb IED was remotely detonated near the vehicle.


Photo provided by Jesca Daniels


Photo provided by Jesca Daniels

 “Aura was injured…she had a collapsed lung and some sort of heart arrhythmia that she had to be sedated for.  Mark had a TBI with bleeding as well and some neck and spinal issues.” Jesca Daniels, Mark’s wife

Amazingly, none of the Marines in the MRAP were killed. Mark was seriously injured enough that they had to cut his uniform shirt off.

Aura beside Mark’s shirt that was cut off of him the day the IED struck their MRAP

“We got really lucky that day, if the MRAP would have been about an inch further down the road it would have killed them all. Not one Marine in that vehicle died, we actually just had a reunion this past March, it was awesome, it was the first time they had all been together since the hospital in Afghanistan!” Jesca

But Mark had to be sent home to America for treatment of his injuries – separated from his Marine battle buddy, Aura. She’ll tell you her story on this Facebook post.


Photo of the hospital in Afghanistan provided by Jesca Daniels

Aura wasn’t reunited with her “dad” until October, of 2013.

Jesca tells us that her husband Mark is fully recovered and back to duty as a Kennel Master now. Aura recovered, but injured her cruciate ligaments and was retired to the Daniels in May of 2015.

Mark was afraid she’d forget him.  But that was not the case, as usual with animals that develop bonds to people, they remember and they are excited.

Homecoming! Aura remembers her Daddy, Mark!- Screenshot from video of Jesca Daniels

The Dogs who risk their lives

Military Working dogs literally risk life and limb for their handlers and the Marines — all service members they work with.  They are all true  patriots.

Aura is vying for “Patriotic Pup,” a contest that would award $1,000 to the MWDTSA [Military Working Dog Team Support Association], an organization that helps handlers of Military Working Dogs with anything they need. That organization reached out to the Daniels in their times of need, and they’d like to repay them by winning this contest.

Aura never forgot her owner, and nearly lost her life in the service of our country. She’s a very patriotic pup! Vote for this K-9 Marine!

Vote here for the Patriotic Pup Contest