July 14, 1999

It is with great sorrow that I must inform you that there has been a great loss within the C.A.E.S.A.R. program, as well as within the SAR community. Yesterday (07-14-99), I was forced to make one of the most difficult decisions of my life, to end the life of a true friend and dedicated partner.

Compare` was one of the leading inspirations in the formation of the C.A.E.S.A.R. program and has served unselfishly with a drive and determination toward everything that was right. He did not possess any political agenda nor did he perform for self-gain. The true essence of his existence was to serve, to work in unison with his team while supporting the "cause" of what constitutes our very existence.... To serve those in need!

As most of you are aware, Compare` retired ten months ago due to a medical illness called Degenerative Myelopathy. The prognosis for this disease is very poor and there is no known cure. He remained active until his final day while maintaining his overwhelming desire to please. He passed away quietly and without pain with his handler by his side. He will be cremated and his remains will reside with me until we can be reunited once again.

In his name, I would like to ask for something from each of you. I am challenging all of you to follow Compare`'s lead, to work effectively and efficiently together towards the accomplishment of our true goal. To put aside our differences and to focus on what really matters. To be a team! Compare` understood this concept and we should too. So please help me to continue his legacy and to give him the dignity he so righteously deserves.

Please join me in paying tribute to Compare` Esistenza Libonati one last time. I know you will eagerly await until the final refind... until then, may God look after you, for you have earned his attention!


John A. Libonati Compare`s' handler and friend