After the national anthem at the Sioux City Musketeer hockey game, officers from the Woodbury County Sheriff’s Department rappelled down the wall with a banner bearing a picture of John Doungdara, and his dog.
In August, Navy Master at Arms Doungdara, of South Sioux City, died when his chopper was shot down and crashed in Afghanistan.
His family watched a video tribute at center ice, and was presented with the banner. “We are here to honor Johnny Doungdara, a true hero, who didn’t even live his entire life in this country, but he gave his.”
The Doungdara family was presented with a $1,000 check for a new dog park to be built near the Freedom Park in South Sioux City. Doungdara was a dog handler for the Navy Seals.
SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Neb. — The family of a U.S. Navy SEAL serving in Afghanistan confirmed the death of their son and brother on Saturday in a helicopter crash in Wardak province.
The city is located just across the river from Sioux City, Iowa.
Sengchanh Douangdara, the mother of U.S. Navy SEAL John Douangdara, said military officials approached her home at 10 a.m. Saturday to deliver the news of her son’s death. Master at Arms, Class 1 John Douangdara, 26, was a dog handler for the elite military unit.
The 2003 South Sioux City High School graduate was aboard a Chinook helicopter with 37 others when the aircraft was shot down during an anti-Taliban operation in the Tangi Valley.
Thirty U.S. troops were killed, including nearly two dozen members of the U.S. Navy SEALs. Seven Afghan soldiers and an Afghan interpreter also were killed in the deadliest incident for U.S. forces since the start of the decadelong war.
“I didn’t even know Johnny was a Navy SEAL,” his mother said. “I know that he loved his job, it was a job he chose.”