Staff Sgt. James Ide honored this week for his courage and compassion, as a soldier and a man

Staff Sgt. James Ide, nicknamed “Father Ide,” was a man of faith who loved his family. He was a soldier who always led from the front. He was a dog handler who compassionately cared for his military working dog, Daphne.

Daphne and Ide deployed to Afghanistan in April 2010 and successfully completed more than 300 combat patrols.

On Aug. 29, 2010 Ide and and Daphne were detecting for improvised explosive devises when they were attacked by enemy forces and Ide suffered a fatal gunshot wound.

And two and a half years later on a cold April morning, soldiers, civilians, military working dogs, and family members of Ide gathered on Fort Leonard Wood to honor the Missouri-born soldier by dedicating Protective Service Range 13 in his name.

“Staff Sgt. Ide died working with special operations forces in Afghanistan and this special operations complex itself is really special,” said Ide's company commander Capt. Joshua Larson. “Having his name on the sign on this complex really brings to the forefront the special type of soldier he was.”

During the ceremony, guest speakers talked about the type of man Ide was.

“He was a phenomenal soldier, a phenomenal NCO, and a phenomenal dog handler,” Larson said.

Larson said that it takes a special type of person to be a military working dog handler.

“Being a dog handler is like being a mother or father. You have to be loving, caring, confident in what you show, but also stern and confident in what you do.” Larson said.

“If anyone looks to compare those two things to each other, it's one in the same. He was a father to Daphne, a father to his children, a husband to Mandy, a great son to his parents and a great brother.”

Larson also said that he was a man of faith, in God and what he did as a soldier. Larson said he always executed his duties knowing that they were just and the right thing to do.

“He had hope in his fellow soldiers, that they would become better men and women, not just better NCOs or better soldiers,” Larson said. “He got the nickname ‘Father Ide’ for a reason. It wasn't just because he was a stern disciplinarian to his soldiers, it was that he was caring and really watched out for them.”

Speakers of the ceremony also discussed Ide's many accomplishments as a soldier, including the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, and the Army Commendation Medal with “V” Device. Ide was assigned to the 230th MP Company, 95th MP Battalion, 18th MP Brigade, 21st Theater Sustainment Command.

“His career as an Army MP has left an indelible impact on the United States Army and Military Police,” said Drill Sgt. Pope at the ceremony. “His courage, compassion, and commitment continue to inspire soldiers today. For this reason, we are memorializing him today and naming this range the Staff Sgt. James R. Ide V in his honor.”

After the ceremony, Military Police dog handlers held a military working dog demonstration in Ide's honor.

Ide's dog, Daphne, was recently adopted by Ide's family.