Longest serving military working dog retires

This afternoon at the Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho a retirement ceremony is being held for the longest-serving military working dog in the Department of Defense. For twelve years Tanja has served as a detection and patrol dog and is now looking forward to retirement with her current handler.

Tanja, a Belgian Malinois, worked with six different handlers over her career. “She has deployed five times in various countries around the world and has been a definite asset during her military career,” said Tanja’s former handler Staff Sgt. Robert Wilson. Dogs and their handlers spend all their time together. They train, eat, sleep and fight side by side. “I am so glad I had the opportunity of working with her,” said Wilson. “She was definitely the best dog I have ever had.”

Wilson also went on to tell a story from his deployment with Tanja. Not only did Tanja locate an explosive device inside a third-country national vehicle but further search revealed that stolen classified documents were hidden inside the vehicle. Tanja efforts prevented this information from being stolen.

Tanja will be living out the rest of her life with her last handler, Tech. Sgt. Roseann Kelly. “I don’t think she will have any problem adjusting to being a civilian since she’s been preparing and practicing for house-dog life for years,” joked Kelly. “She loves to lounge around and play games like most dogs do. I love the military working dogs and am excited to adopt Tanja.”

Both Kelly and Wilson are glad Tanja will get the retirement she has earned. Kelly said, “She has served her country and can now look forward to enjoying herself and relaxing.”




Comments

  1. Karen says on  01/31/2013 at 2:12 pm

    I hope Tanja has a long and healthy retirement. She deserves the very best, life has to offer.

  2. Shawn says on  01/31/2013 at 3:47 pm

    I hope she gets a pension with full medical. 😉

  3. Sandy says on  01/31/2013 at 5:26 pm

    Thank you Tanja and your handlers for your service. Enjoy your well deserved retirement.Sniff out the treats girl!

  4. Ann says on  02/01/2013 at 8:28 pm

    Thank you Tanja for your long service. As an owner of a medical alert dog I can only imagine the training you have spent your life doing. Thank you for keeping our human hero’s safe while deployed. I am so thrilled that they have recognized your service and I hope that retirement pension includes all the toys, treats, and soft beds that money can buy. Most of all, I will send a salute your way on Veterans Day for you are certainly a hero in my book.

  5. I stand at attention with my chest out and send one of the biggest salutes that I have ever given a service member. Thank you for a job well done. Being a retired service member and proud owner of two beautiful GSD’s. It makes me proud to see a Service Member getting the proper recognition they deserve. Enjoy retirement and no the cat is not the enemy.lol

  6. Alphons says on  02/06/2013 at 9:36 am

    I got this picture from my cousin in Canada. We are living in Holland. A very emotionel article. We hope that Tanja a very good en easy retirement gets and a very big salut for her services from Holland.

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