460th SFS says farwell to Airman
By Airman 1st Class Nigel R. Sims, 460th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published December 20, 2010
BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The 460th Security Forces Squadron says farewell to an outstanding partner and Airman. During his time of service, he has been deployed more than five times to various areas around the world such as Pakistan, Iraq, South West Asia, and Qatar just to name a few. He has successfully worked eleven consecutive years and not once took a day of leave. Not only has he served for the 460th Space Wing, he has carried out services for presidential support, Aurora Police Department, and Denver Police Department to contribute to their success.
Rico, a military working dog, has been a Buckley Airman for a total of 11 years. Rico has many different occupations such as explosive detector and patrol dog. He also has secured areas for nationally respected figures such as Colin Powell, President Barack Obama, former President George W. Bush and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, though he has never seeked recognition, or recieved a medal for his work.
Rico is a very dominant, hard working, and unpredictable dog," said Tech. Sgt. Edward Canell, 460th Security Forces kennel master. "He is one dog that everybody loves to be around, but people can only get within 10 feet of him. Rico will work until he can't work anymore.".
Rico has also worked with and earned the respect of many different services, said Sergeant Canell. "Secret service loves him because he portrays the aggressive attack dog when they need it. He's just a powerful-looking dog."
I have learned so much from this one dog when it comes to aggression and detection, said Sergeant Canell.
"Rico is a hard worker, with incredible detection senses, and a good judge of people's character," said Staff Sgt. David Duritsky, 460th Security Forces military working dog handler.
Though he has been a great Airman, Rico has become a victim of time. After 11 long years of hard work and dedication, old age is starting to become a problem in his life.
"Not only will Rico provide tremendous effort," said Sergeant Duritsky. "He's the type of dog that will work until he over exerts himself. Me, being his partner, I have to stop him because his will power is there but his body is not. However, his mind never stops, his action implies that he loves his job so much and it is exactly what he wants to do. It hurts me to watch when he pushes himself past what he is capable of doing"
Due to his body's inability to keep up with his spirit, Rico will be retired and put to sleep in the near future.
Rico has served the Air Force without a break for more than a decade. According to his handlers, he has contributed a great deal to his service with unyielding loyalty, dedication beyond measures, and unfailing mission support. He has completed every task expected of him with unflinching morale. Rico exemplifies not only what it means to be a great partner and military working dog, but what it means to be a great Airman.