R. Lee Ermey, who portrayed Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in “Full Metal Jacket,” will host a new reality series called “Saving Private K-9,” Thursdays on The Sportsman Channel. The first episode was May 15.
American Military News has yet to watch the show.
Ermey was medically retired as a staff sergeant after 11 years in the Corps. The Commandant of the Marine Corps awarded him an honorary meritorious promotion to Gunnery Sergeant in 2002.
Ermey says the first 12-episode season of “Saving Private K-9” will profile the stories of military and law enforcement working dogs and their handlers. One episode will reunite a dog-and-handler team years after both were injured in an IED explosion in Afghanistan.
“So we’re reuniting this guy and his dog, and I’m interviewing him in the front room of a house and look up and, my God, my camera guy has got tears streaming down his cheeks. My sound guy has a Kleenex, he’s daubing away at his eyes. Everybody in the damn room is bawling. It was all I could do to keep from tearing up.”
Ermey says he hopes the show will put a spotlight not only on the bond between dogs and their handlers, but also lead to real changes in how the canines are retired from service.
“The military had let this dog go and he was in a kennel. Trapped in a little bitty cage, he had lost about 40 pounds, his teeth had all fallen out. If that’s the way we take care of our working dogs when we retire them, shame on us,” says Ermey. “The military and law enforcement need to realize when that old dog is ready for retirement, you don’t just dump it away.”
Read more at MarineCorpsTimes.
The show premieres May 15, airing Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time.