Retiring Military Dogs Helped Locate Explosives, Deter Terrorist Attacks

Handlers SSgt. Dwight Veon, SSgt. Jesse Galvan, and SSgt. James Cochran sat next to their dogs Blacky, Cita, and Sheila during a retirement ceremony held at Tinker Air Force Base on June 25. Handlers SSgt. Dwight Veon, SSgt. Jesse Galvan, and SSgt. James Cochran sat next to their dogs Blacky, Cita, and Sheila during a retirement ceremony held at Tinker Air Force Base on June 25. United States Air Force

Four retiring military dogs were recently honored for their distinguished careers overseas.

At a late-June event at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City, Okla., the dogs’ handlers ceremoniously “passed the leash” to the canines’ new retirement caretakers, according to Stars and Stripes. The dogs primarily served to track and locate explosives, drugs and terrorists.

“Simply put, these dogs save lives, many lives,” Col. Julie Boit said at the ceremony.

In addition to serving the Air Force, the “four-legged airmen” also supported components of the Army and Marine Corps.

The ceremony’s honorees were:

·         Arras: A six-year-old German shepherd that served in the military for four years. The dog located explosives and deterred terrorist attacks against Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan and Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. Arras supported the president and vice president.

·         Blacky: A nine-year old German shepherd that served in the military for seven years. Blacky served in Iraq, helping to locate weapon caches and to prevent improvised explosive devices from detonating.

·         Cita: A six-year-old Belgian Tervuren that served in the military for five years, including in Afghanistan helping to locate 30,000 pounds of hashish.

·         Sheila: A six-year-old Belgian Malinois that served in the military for four years, including in Kyrgyzstan helping to locate explosives and deterring terrorist attacks.

Below, enjoy a slideshow of military dogs on duty in Iraq and Afghanistan:

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