Family united with dog of soldier killed in duty
Festus, MO (KSDK) – A Festus family who lost a loved one in the war in Afghanistan got to meet one of his partners. On Thursday morning, the Ide family met Ddaphne, a Belgian Malinois dog, who was a bomb-sniffing dog paired with Army Staff Sgt. James R. Ide, 32, when he was killed in Afghanistan when his unit came under attack by insurgents.
After Sgt. Ide’s death, his family asked to adopt Ddaphne once her mission wrapped. Mandy Ide lost her husband in Afghanistan, but was determined not to lose the one who was always by his side. The children immediately bonded with Ddaphne and enjoyed playing ball together.
“She was kind of like a second child, kind of my husband’s mistress,” said Mandy. “It’s a part of him. It’s something almost like he created. It was always Jimmy and Ddaphne, to receive that is such an honor.”
After being in Germany for seven months, a military escort brings Daphne home. She’s with Staff Sgt. Jimmy Ide’s children: two-year-old Jas, and eight-year-old Trinity, to love and to protect. Army Staff Sgt. Ide trained Ddaphne to be a bomb sniffing dog. But Mandy says Ddaphne was never the same after witnessing the violence that killed her husband. She says Ddaphne suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, forced into early retirement.
Mandy believes Ddaphne knows they are part of Jimmy. “I’m kind of worried about it. Like around his gear, the things that were his. It might make her sad. But it’s something we can deal with,” said Mandy.
Mandy says adopting Ddaphne hasn’t been easy. She says at first the Army didn’t want to give her up. But with Daphne needing medication to manage her anxiety after Afghanistan-retirement became the only real option.
Welcome home Ddaphne!