LOCAL NEWS

After Rescuing ‘War Dogs,’ Couple Looks To Build Statue Honoring Dogs From Vietnam War

Sep 29, 2019, 11:18 PM | Updated: Sep 30, 2019, 6:55 am

 KAYSVILLE, Utah — When Linda and Jim Crismer made their appearance at the Central Davis Senior Activity Center, it might just have been the hottest ticket in town.

“I spoke at a junior high, it was about 500 kids,” Linda Crismer said, commenting on whether or not she was getting nervous. “I walked out and I was like, ‘Ooh, this is intimidating.'”

The crowd of seniors lined up outside the door, as staff shuffled chairs around, trying to find a place for everyone to sit. But they weren’t really here to see Linda Crismer or her husband Jim Crismer, who sat nearby in a chair, ready to advance their slideshow.

“We’re here today to talk to you about our amazing children, CWD Mazzie and CWD Jeli,” Linda Crismer said to the crowd.

CWD stands for “Contract Working Dog.” The two animals sat on the quietly on the floor, near the couple’s feet.

“Served in Kuwait, they weren’t owned by the United States government,” Linda said. “They were owned by American companies.”

Mazzie sits near Jim Crismer at the Central Davis Senior Activity Center in Kaysville.

Mazzie sits near Jim Crismer at the Central Davis Senior Activity Center in Kaysville.

Mazzie in particular didn’t have the easiest time.

“He wanted to stay in his crate all the time, because he was safe. This is what Mazzie looked like when he got home,” Linda said, pointing to a picture being projected on a screen. “He weighed 60 pounds. A young man that we work with who trains dogs told us Mazzie was the most damaged dog he had ever come across in his life.

Not physically damaged — nothing’s been broken on him — but mentally, he was very, very damaged.”

The Crismers have adopted three of these animals, often known as “war dogs.” They worked with a group called “Mission K9 Rescue,” which is dedicated to finding homes for dogs like these. Both Mazzie and Geli worked as narcotics dogs.

“He had been so severely abused that he quit smelling,” Linda said, gesturing towards Mazzie, who now looks completely healthy. “He quit doing his job, and he quit eating. So he was just starving himself to death.”

Layton's replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was completed in 2018. Mazzie sits near Jim Crismer at the Central Davis Senior Activity Center in Kaysville.

A photo showing the sculptor the Crismers hope will eventually create their statue A photo of Mazzie, in the location where the Crismers hope their statue will sit. Linda and Jim Crismer walk their dogs along the memorial. A member of the crowd looks on while Linda Crismer explained what happened to Mazzie. Linda Crismer showed the crowd this photo of Mazzie, severely malnourished after working in Kuwait. Geli sits quietly while Linda Crismer talks about "war dogs." Jim and Linda Crismer explain where their dogs came from. Mazzie looks on while Linda and Jim Crismer give their presentation to a crowd at the Central Davis Senior Activity Center.

But the Crismers don’t just want to help the dogs of today — they want to remember those who never had a chance.

“The Vietnam Veterans, who have made our dogs members of their organization, wanted to honor the dogs of Vietnam,” Linda said.

They had the perfect place selected to honor those animals — Layton’s replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Completed in the summer of 2018, it’s a copy of what many refer to as the “Vietnam Wall” in Washington, DC. It stands at 80 percent of the size of the original, listing the names of the 58,317 American service members who died in the war, or were unaccounted for.

Over four thousand dogs served alongside troops in Vietnam — only to be left behind.

“They were considered equipment, and they were left in country,” Linda Crismer said. “Many were euthanized.  And those dogs should be recognized and honored and remembered.”

Mazzie is set to be the model for a statue, which will stand near the wall.

“We go to the Vietnam Veterans of America meetings, and they’ve loved Mazzie since they first met him,” Linda said. Somebody threw out the idea, and it caught on, and they’ve asked us to spearhead the fundraising. We found a sculptor, and we’re just waiting until we get enough money to tell Layton City that it’s really going to happen.”

Dogs are credited with saving over ten thousand lives in Vietnam. Although Linda and Jim didn’t serve in Vietnam, they both feel a strong connection to that time, and the sacrifices of those service members and their dogs are something they’ll never forget.

“I get choked up,” Jim Crismer said, reflecting on why Layton’s memorial is so important to him. “I got two friends on one panel down there.  I went to high school with them both, and they were both killed the first day of the Tet Offensive.”

And so, the Crismers and their dogs are touring the state — spreading the word, and teaching others, while helping other teach their dogs at the same time.

“If we’re out and you see us with the dogs, please come up and say hi,” Linda said to the crowd of seniors as she ended her presentation. “It helps the dogs learn, especially Mazzie, nobody’s ever going to hurt him again.”

Linda and Jim Crismer walk their dogs along the memorial.

Because a dog may be man’s best friend —but the Crismers believe it’s time for man to return the favor.

“They did not choose to be in war,” Linda said. “Just the luck of the draw, their skills or whatever, they were chosen to do that by somebody else, not by themselves.  And that needs to be recognized.”

Mazzie has a Facebook page, under the name CWD Mazzie.  If you’d like to contribute to the statue, the Crismers have an account set up at Wells Fargo locations.

 

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

...
Lauren Steinbrecher

UDOT crews working overnight to prepare roads for snowy morning commute

The snow may have died down across some areas of northern Utah Monday night, but UDOT is still hard at work and expects to keep crews on overnight to prep the roads for what could a snowy, icy morning commute Tuesday.
1 day ago
Exterior of the San Juan Puerto Rico Temple. The temple’s architecture is inspired by the Spanish...
Madison Swenson

First temple in Puerto Rico opening to the public

The San Juan Puerto Rico Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is opening its doors to the public beginning Dec. 1.
1 day ago
...
Dan Rascon

Parents, students terrified after false alarm at Granger Elementary School

There were some terrifying moments for parents and students at Granger Elementary School Monday after word spread of a possible active shooter. That was before they found out it was a false alarm.
1 day ago
Moose in swimming pool...
Cary Schwanitz

DWR – You don’t have to report every wildlife encounter

Utah’s mountainous terrain is home to many animals that often wander into lower elevations like neighborhoods.
1 day ago
UDOT Station Supervisor Shawn Wright, and snowplow driver Nick Kesler look over one of the plows be...
Jed Boal

UDOT snowplow drivers are ready for the winter roads

Utah snowplow drivers are prepared for the incoming snow fall hitting the state this week.
1 day ago
The crashed truck inside the Springville insurance office. (Mapleton City Fire Department)...
Michael Houck

Distracted driving causes car crash into insurance office, police say

A car drove into an insurance agency after a traffic accident where a vehicle ran a red light, hitting another car Monday. 
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
After Rescuing ‘War Dogs,’ Couple Looks To Build Statue Honoring Dogs From Vietnam War