Military dogs honored for National K9 Veterans Day

Local News

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE (KLAS) — Friday is “National K-9 Veterans Day” — a date set to honor the service and sacrifice of American military working dogs.

K-9s were officially recognized as part of U.S. Armed Forces in 1942 and continue serving our country.

Every day, Air Force Staff Sergeant Brandon Thompson works with Sseneca — a Belgian Malinois military working dog. 

Don’t let her beautiful brown eyes and calm demeanor inside the kennel fool you. She’s a four-legged hero, with quite a bite when she steps outside her home. 

“She’s the best,” Thompson said. “She’s a detector and patrol dog. She’s been at this for about 4 years.”

Thompson is her most recent handler. He is one of several K-9 veterans stationed at Nellis Air Force Base. 

“In the military we don’t change duty stations with our dog,” Thompson said. “So, our dogs are stationed at every base and when the handlers, like myself change duty stations, we actually get a new dog to work with.” 

The duo met in November and continues improving their bond. Not only by playing, but working on obedience 

“We just try to really build that relationship between her and I because that can honestly save somebody’s life,” Thompson said. “We do a lot of training during our duty days so we can be proficient when it comes time to do the job.”

Sseneca’s job includes detection, protection, and security. She has deployed to the Middle East and helped keep troops safe.

“She is the front line defense,” Thompson said. “She stands in front of people, she goes out and searches, she searches buildings when suspects could potentially get on our base.”

All military working dogs are trained at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

Friday is also Sseneca’s birthday. She is now seven years old.

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