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Four Military Working Dogs Honored for Service to Their Country

They served a total of 32 years of faithful service to their country, and Tuesday, they retired.

Four members of the Canine Security Forces were formally honored at a ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph.

The MWDs – or Military Working Dogs --  were awarded certificates of meritorious service. Commander of the 902d Security Forces Squadron, Major Gregory Bodenstein, says all the dogs are war heroes.

"MWD Teri began his career at Randolph AFB in October, 2003. Teri executed the explosive detection mission with distinction during seven deployments to Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. 

MWDs Harry, Teri, Kevin, and Leo were retired with honors today. Their handlers called them their partners, working in the last ten years, searching out bombs in Iraq and Kuwait, searching for drugs in barracks, and protecting the president. MWD Leo saw action as late as two weeks ago, when, he accompanied Staff Sgt. Rachel Lopatesky on a search for a suspected shooter at Fort Sam Houston.

"We went to the closest SAPD officer and said, 'What's going on? What can we do? We're here to help. We've got a dog here,'" Lopatesky said. "You know, he loves this, it's what he lives for.  And we went out and they told us he was last seen in the woods. So we went over to the woods and we started running to the woods to find him."

All four dogs were adopted by military families, some of whom have been the dogs’ handlers for the last few years. But now they are family members, not working dogs, and can enjoy a little relaxation, and some spoiling.

Lopatesky has a plan for Leo. "I want him to be on the couch and be able to go roll around in the grass and not have a collar on. That's my plan."

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.