Semper K9 is proud to announce the acceptance of service dog in training Donut into our Service Dogs for Veterans program. Donut, a 10-week old shepherd lab mix, is named in memory of USMC LCpl Dakota R. Huse and comes to us from our rescue partner Operation Paws for Homes. “He got the nickname donut from always having snacks in his pockets 24/7,” said Drew Myers, his Marine brother, and friend.

Dakota Ray Huse was born December 3, 1990 in Shreveport, LA. He was a happy child and actively involved in the community and giving back with his family. Aside from soccer and wrestling at Huntington High School, from which he graduated in 2009, he participated in its Junior ROTC and rifle team and more.

After graduating from boot camp at Parris Island, SC, Huse was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C . He was deployed to Afghanistan shortly after at Marine Corps Combat Outpost Coutu.

“He made so many friends while there and still today people remember him and his smile, his laughter and the stories of spades and Little Debbie snack cakes. Many of his friends in the Corps nicknamed him ‘Donut’. He never minded being called that,” said his mother, Donna.

While conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan he was killed in action on Nov. 9, 2010.  “Lance Cpl. Dakota Huse was the kind of Marine that made being a team leader a boring job,” said Cpl. Luke B. Visconti, a team leader for Fox, 2/9. “I never had to tell him to do something more than once, and if I had to correct him on something, I only had to tell him once. This went for anything. If I needed something done, I knew if I asked Huse, it would get taken care of. He was a great [squad automatic weapon] gunner and would have equally made a good team leader.”

Marines and sailors with 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines salute a memorial display honoring Lance Cpl. Dakota R. Huse, a rifleman with Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, during a memorial at Marine Corps Combat Outpost Coutu, Nov. 11. Huse gave the ultimate sacrifice, Nov. 9, while conducting combat operations in Northern Marjah.

Everyone looked to Huse when they were down, explained Visconti. He was the type of Marine who could take the worst circumstances and turn them into a comical situation.Capt. Michael W. Manocchio, commanding officer for Fox Company, 2/9, talked about how Huse’s antics, which were often at his own expense.“Although Dakota may not have been the next American Idol, he liked to sing in the [Combat Operations Center], even if it meant getting himself kicked out,” said Manocchio. “He was a standup guy who always looked out for his fellow Marines and did whatever he could to help others out. He did everything he could to ensure his fellow Marines were taken care of by sharing everything and anything with his brothers.”“Huse had a lot of nicknames in our squad. We would also call him donut because he always had fat snacks. Even when mail was slow he still managed to have a box of honey-buns. I still ask myself where he got that stuff from.”Although Huse was known as a jokester, during the memorial service at Combat Outpost Coutu on Nov 11th, his brothers-in-arms said he took his job very seriously and realized his mission here was no laughing matter.“Lance Cpl. Huse always lived every day to its fullest and made the most out of his time on earth,” Lt. Col. James R. Fullwood, the commanding officer for 2/9, said to the crowd. “In doing so, he gave 100 percent of himself to the mission at hand. Whether that mission was being a Marine, a SAW gunner or a friend; he never held back. He was always there in the front, pushing himself to get everything possible out of life.”

Marines with 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment pay their respects to Lance Cpl. Dakota R. Huse, a rifleman with Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, during a memorial service at Marine Corps Combat Outpost Coutu, Nov. 11. Photo by Pfc Andrew Johnston.

“Lance Cpl. Huse was a true professional who embraced being a Marine with every fiber of his being and lived each day in accordance with our Corps values,” said Fullwood. “That was the type of man that Dakota was and that was how he lived.”His awards include the Purple Heart Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

We are honored to name Donut in LCpl Huse’s memory.

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