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MacDill K-9s retiring today!

1:55 PM, Jul 12, 2012   |    comments
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Video: MacDill K-9's retire

Conny, 10, has deployed to Afghanistan twice and Iraq three times. He has also supported 12 secret service missions. Conny will retire to the home of Senior Airman Brandon Denton, 6th Security Forces Squadron dog handler.

 


 


Tampa, Florida -- They've served in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan and Germany with a combined 217 years of service...in dog years.

MacDill honored the three retirees today as Conny, Jago and Harris "hung up their leashes" for the last time so they can live out their retirement with their forever families.

"Together we will conquer all obstacles and search out those who may wish to do harm upon others," a line read from the Military Working Dog's poem, Guardian of the Night, as the K9s received their final salute from one American hero to another.

Trained in locating explosives, Conny, Yago and Haris have served our country around the world and have supported numerous Secret Service and base missions here at home.

"We couldn't do the mission that we have without them. They save countless lives just walking down the street and sniffing out bombs," said Senior Airman Brett Carson, who was Jago's handler and now, new owner.

Jago, 10, has deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq twice and Kyrgyzstan . He has also served during 9 Secret Services missions.
His new mission...trips to the dog beach.

The K9s handlers get first dibs when it comes time for the dogs to retire.

Jago has already enjoyed a few days at home with Carson and his wife.

"He's been having a lot of fun, riding in the back of my car, we go everywhere together. I took him to the beach, took him to the park on Tuesday," said Carson.

Senior Airman Brandon Denton is welcoming home Conny, 10. He is also Conny's handler.

Conny, led the walking patrols of American servicemen and servicewomen overseas, discovering more explosives than any other K-9 stationed at MacDill.

"She also has the record for the largest find over in Iraq," he explained, "I didn't have her then, this was three or four years back, it was close to 175 pounds worth of explosives."

He says he never doubted Conny's nose during their deployments.,"My faith is 100% behind her. I know she's capable of doing her job and she's actually enjoying her job, which I find remarkable."

 
Conny not only played in a big role in serving our country, but also helped find Denton's new wife, Jessica Clemente.

The three were stationed in Iraq a little more than a year ago when Denton and Conny went to the Medical Clinic where Conny stole Clemente's heart.

She was working as a combat medic.

"She was my favorite from the get go," smiled Clemente.

Denton eventually stole Clemente's the heart. The two married on July 5th at Fort DeSoto with Conny serving as the ringer bearer and flower girl. She also got to enjoy her first swim at the beach.

"She didn't really know how to swim, but she enjoys it now," smiled Denton, who shared of a picture of a proud Conny splashing in the water,"She deserves all the care and comfort we both can give her."

Haris will not be going home with his handler, SSgt. Jarvis Beauchamp because he is being transferred overseas. He said the day was bittersweet.

"It'll probably kick in a little bit later," he said, petting Haris.

The 11-year-old K9 is going home with Randel and Shelly Patty of Louisiana.

Haris is the 4th military working dog the couple has adopted over the years.

"They're so loyal, they're gentle giants, they're fabulous family dogs and we're blessed to be ale to take them home," said Shelly Patty.

Just like many retired military vets, the retirees will have to adjust to civilian life after hanging up the leash.

In their case, it will be learning how to be a dog.

Their new owners say they hope to make that easy.

"It's time to hang up the leash, enjoy fetch, treats, enjoy the company of me and her," said Denton.

Conny is ready for this new chapter in her life. Denton says he's already had the 2:30 a.m. wake-up call as Conny grabs her ball and places it on his bed, ready to play fetch.

MacDill provided the retirees bios:

Conny, 10, has deployed to Afghanistan twice and Iraq three times. He has also supported 12 secret service missions. Conny will retire to the home of Senior Airman Brandon Denton, 6th Security Forces Squadron dog handler.

Jago, 10, has deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq twice and Kyrgyzstan and supported nine secret service missions. Jago will retire to the home of Senior Airman Brett Carson, 6th Security Forces Squadron dog handler. 

Haris, 11, has deployed to Bulgaria, Iraq twice, UAE and Germany. He has also supported 20 secret service missions. Haris will retire to the home of Randall and Shelly Patty who are driving down from Louisiana.

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