Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

Douglas E. Provance A Veteran's Story

 

September 27, 2018

Courtesy D. Provance

Airman Douglas Provance upon completion of basic and canine training with Prince.

Douglas E. Provance was born in Trenton, Missouri on April 19,1963. "Childhood was unique for me, as I was raised by my grandparents - Harry Dale and Helen Whitney." he said, adding, "They were great and loving parents."

As Provance grew up, he gained a deep interest in the military. "My uncle, William Duncan Whitney "Uncle Wee" was at the Battle of Iwo Jima with the United States Marines and received a Purple Heart posthumously for his sacrifice on the battlefield. "I have his medals, and his picture, as well as some of his effects, and they mean so very much to me." Provance stated.

Provance graduated from Grandview High School in 1981. He began his enlistment in the Marines, but when he tested he received an offer from the Air Force to go into Security Police. "This was my dream. To be in law enforce/security forces for the military." he said.

Once down at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, Provance would be offered the job to work with the Air Force canine unit. He accepted, and he continued his training at Lackland.

Upon completion, Provance would then be transferred to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base at Tucson, Arizona. His dog at Davis-Monthan was Leo. "He had a bit of an edge to him, but we worked together well." he said.

From Arizona, Provance would then travel to Japan, where he would be stationed at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa. His assigned dog was a 118 pound massive Rottweiler named Cogan. "He was a great dog and was one of the first of his breed to be a military dog." informed Provance. "He was a good worker and spot on!" he added.

After his tour of duty in Japan, Provance found himself in the desert of White Sands, New Mexico. It would be here, Provance would depart from the military and head to Dona Ana, New Mexico to develop a canine unit with the police department. He would stay for three and half years building a great canine program.

His departure from New Mexico would take him north and a bit east to Kimball, Nebraska. Provance would work for the City of Kimball as a police captain and moving up to be their police chief from 2007 to 2011.

Courtesy D. Provance

Provance and Cobra telling their story to the Donald Eisenhauer American Legion Post 60.

Provance explains "the call" he received asking if he still remembered how to handle dogs. "My buddy said, 'I have a dog for you!" he relayed. Thus began a change in jobs and a four year eight tours to the Bagdad with a dog named 'Cobra'. "He was my buddy, my comrade, my fellow soldier, and he was known as the 'Beast of Bagdad' because everyone thought he looked like a wolf!" Provance said.

Cobra retired from service a few months before Provance did. Once back in the states, they offered Provance to keep Cobra, as he was his handler and friend. "Yes, I accepted, and he is my sidekick!" he smiled and said.

Back home in Kimball, Provance is employed at LB Foster as a pipe inspector.

"I am loving life, I can see my two kids, Jenna Matlock, who also served in the United States Army, and Zach Provance, who has given me 2 grandchildren - Roslynn and Damon.

"The military was good to me," he said, and added, "I truly support all of them, and I would tell someone thinking of serving to do so. Serve your country, serve it proudly, and do it correctly!"

We thank you Doug Provance for your service.

 

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