National Mortuary Shipping and Cremation (NMS) and Southwest Airlines® Joined Together to Successfully Transfer the “Wounded Warrior Dogs” Exhibit

January 29, 2024
Our NMS team recently joined with Southwest Airlines® to successfully transfer the “Wounded Warrior Dogs” exhibit from the National Museum of the United States Army in Virginia to the Napa Valley Museum in California in partnership with the Tug McGraw Foundation.

This is a very powerful exhibit that features 16 life-size wooden sculptures created by artist James Mellick to symbolize the heroism and sacrifice of our four-legged friends who serve in our military.

The honor of moving these statues was no small task and involved recruiting volunteers from all over the country. The effort was coordinated by KC Stone from Bay Area Mortuary in San Jose, California, who is also a K9 handler. She called upon NMS knowing their knowledge of shipping remains all over the globe safely and respectfully could get the task completed.

Angie Berwald, CEO and President of NMS, and Kahlen Knapik, Vice President of NMS, traveled from Cleveland, Ohio, to Fort Belvoir, VA, to oversee the transfer of 27 crates containing sculptures and pedestals to Southwest Airlines Cargo in Baltimore, MD. Patriotism runs deep within the airline and the carrier generously provided the space to ship the “Wounded Warrior Dogs” exhibit from Baltimore/Washington International Airport to Oakland where the exhibit was able to make its way to the Napa Valley Museum.

“When KC, a K9 handler, who also works for Bay Area Mortuary, reached out to me to help her with this very complex project, I immediately said yes. I knew how important it was to her to have these sculptures, and what they represent, treated with the honor and respect they deserve. I am a dog owner and have had many family members in the military, so I know how important this exhibit is to them and how important it is to our country,” says Berwald.

Knapik states, “To see so many people across the country, from all walks of life, come together to volunteer their time and services for this mission was amazing! We are honored and humbled to be part of such a special project.”

The Warrior Dogs: Honoring the Service & Sacrifice of America’s Four-Legged Fighters exhibit is scheduled to open at the Napa Valley Museum, located on the grounds of the oldest and largest Veterans Home in the country in Yountville, CA, on February 24, 2024, and will be on display through August 25, 2024.