“The Master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant…”
He did not choose a life of service, this noble black German Shepherd, but he stepped up and gave it his all when he was selected. “FEBE”, which stands for Federal Bomb Expert, spent a decade patrolling Barksdale Air Force Base, as well as some of their airshows. He showed his mettle when used in K-9 demonstrations for different groups. He “swept” areas to prepare for the arrival of many dignitaries- among them a US President, a US Vice President, Foreign Dignitaries and high ranking Military Officers. He even searched polling sites in Iraq during their election. But his most important job, was protecting the lives of US soldiers at Camp Victory in Iraq and in doing so, he also safely brought home Amy Hollis’ husband, father of Hunter, Jullian and Nicholas Hollis.
TSgt. Thomas David Hollis- Febe’s handler.
To many, a K-9 is “just a dog”, but to the soldier who handles him, and the many soldiers who depend on his keen nose to help keep them safe, he is a brother in arms. He IS one of them.
Tommy retired from the USAF in 2014, but not before he and Febe had been awarded the Army Commendation Medal and the Iraq Freedom Medal.
Then, when Febe retired in 2015, Tommy was there -ready to adopt him. For the last two years, Febe has been an integral part of the Hollis family.
He served as the Grand Marshal of The Krewe of Barkus and Meoux in 2016.
(FEBE AT KTBS TELEVISION DOING PR WITH 2014 GRAND MARSHAL, MR. KIPPERS AND 2015 GRAND MARSHAL, BRAVE HEART)
(FEBE ATTENDING THE JAZZ BRUNCH WITH MR KIPPERS IN 2016)
(“PARADING” AT MAGNOLIA CHARTER SCHOOL’S MARDI GRAS CELEBRATION)
(MR KIPPERS AND FEBE SAYING THEIR FINAL GOODBYES)
Febe was honored by the Parkway Jr. ROTC on Veteran’s Day of that same year. Febe and Tommy brought much happiness to the residents of the nursing homes and assisted living facilities they visited, but it appeared that his greatest joy was being with the Hollis family.
Despite his tough job, at heart, Febe was a sweetheart. Sadly, his retirement was not to be a long one, for Febe was diagnosed with advanced, inoperable bladder and pancreatic cancer this past week.
It was a devastating blow to those who loved him.
And today, Febe and Tommy’s brothers in arms came to the Barksdale AFB Kennels, the place Febe called home when he was on active duty.
They came to say “goodbye”. They came to thank him.
You see, Last Call came today for this old warrior. All radio traffic on the Security Forces channel was silenced for Military Working Dog Febe, Tag # LIMA 066. He was thanked for his devotion to duty, his service to our country and the United States Air Force and was cleared and secured for the last and final time on 19th September 2017, 0913 hours.
And so, the solemn procession began. The motorcade, escorting Febe’s casket, was lead by members of the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Department on motorcycles and the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Posse. A Louisiana State Trooper K-9 unit, joined the cortège. With lights flashing, the motorcade wound its way through Bossier Parish for the 30 minute ride to the cemetery. Once off the Clyde Fant Parkway, we passed car after car on the shoulder of the road showing their respect. And as we traveled Hwy 154, just before the cemetery, two ladies, stood by the roadside waving big American flags in FEBE’s honor. Tommy went back to thank them after the service.
Members of Parkway’s Junior ROTC and the USAF K-9 handlers had borne his casket to this point, now it was going to be carried the final leg by two handlers, one of which was Tommy and the other, Military Working Dog Trainer, SSgt. Lammers, along with two of Tommy’s sons, Jullian and Nick Hollis, family friend David Dinger and Mr. Kippers’ “Dad”, USAF Veteran, Gordon Clingan.
Winston Hall beautifully performed, “Go Rest High on That Mountain.”
Retired MWD “FEBE” will be cremated and his ashes returned to the Hollis family.
To this noble German Shepherd, a United States Air Force war hero, we bid you Godspeed. And with apologies to Shakespeare…
“Good night noble Febe, may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest, high on that mountain.”
The honors have continued.
This morning, The Shreveport Times cover story was all about Febe and Tommy and as it was being read by the citizens of the Shreveport-Bossier area, Tommy Hollis and his son, Nick were in the Global Strike Command office of Brigadier General Skomers at Barksdale Air Force Base.
General Skomers presented a commemorative “coin” to Tommy, on behalf of Febe’s service to the USAF and the United States of America. He also presented one to Nick for taking such good care of Febe during his retirement.