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Military working dog receives retirement worthy of hero

Buddy, 460th Security Forces Squadron military working dog, sits between Maj. David Haigh, 460th SFS commander, left, and Staff Sgt. Michael Clark, 460th SFS MWD handler, during Buddy’s retirement Nov. 18, 2013, at the Leadership Development Center on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. Buddy retired after nearly nine years of service and five deployments. After the ceremony Buddy went home to live with his handler of three years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Marcy Copeland/Released)

Buddy, 460th Security Forces Squadron military working dog, sits between Maj. David Haigh, 460th SFS commander, left, and Staff Sgt. Michael Clark, 460th SFS MWD handler, during Buddy’s retirement Nov. 18, 2013, at the Leadership Development Center on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. Buddy retired after nearly nine years of service and five deployments. After the ceremony Buddy went home to live with his handler of three years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Marcy Copeland/Released)

Maj. David Haigh, 460th Security Forces Squadron commander, left, and Staff Sgt. Michael Clark, 460th SFS military working dog handler, pin a Meritorious Service Medal on Buddy, 460th SFS MWD, Nov. 18, 2013, at the Leadership Development Center on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. Buddy retired after nearly nine years of service and five deployments. After the ceremony Buddy went home to live with his handler of three years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Marcy Copeland/Released)

Maj. David Haigh, 460th Security Forces Squadron commander, left, and Staff Sgt. Michael Clark, 460th SFS military working dog handler, pin a Meritorious Service Medal on Buddy, 460th SFS MWD, Nov. 18, 2013, at the Leadership Development Center on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. Buddy retired after nearly nine years of service and five deployments. After the ceremony Buddy went home to live with his handler of three years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Marcy Copeland/Released)

Staff Sgt. Michael Clark, 460th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, presents Buddy, 460th SFS military working dog retired, at the conclusion of his retirement ceremony Nov. 18, 2013, at the Leadership Development Center on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. Buddy retired after nearly nine years of service and five deployments. After the ceremony Buddy went home to live with his handler of three years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Marcy Copeland/Released)

Staff Sgt. Michael Clark, 460th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, presents Buddy, 460th SFS military working dog retired, at the conclusion of his retirement ceremony Nov. 18, 2013, at the Leadership Development Center on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. Buddy retired after nearly nine years of service and five deployments. After the ceremony Buddy went home to live with his handler of three years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Marcy Copeland/Released)

Staff Sgt. Michael Clark, 460th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, looks at Buddy, 460th SFS military working dog retired, at the conclusion of his retirement ceremony Nov. 18, 2013, at the Leadership Development Center on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. Buddy retired after nearly nine years of service and five deployments. After the ceremony Buddy went home to live with his handler of three years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Marcy Copeland/Released)

Staff Sgt. Michael Clark, 460th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, looks at Buddy, 460th SFS military working dog retired, at the conclusion of his retirement ceremony Nov. 18, 2013, at the Leadership Development Center on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. Buddy retired after nearly nine years of service and five deployments. After the ceremony Buddy went home to live with his handler of three years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Marcy Copeland/Released)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Buddy, 460th Security Forces Squadron military working dog, retired after nearly nine years of military service Nov. 18 at the Leadership Development Center on base.

Buddy deployed five times during his time in the Air Force. While supporting the state department, Buddy located an explosive agent which rerouted the presidential motorcade, saving countless lives including the president of the United States.

"I've never been happier to be part of a ceremony because it was very personal. To see him get such military honors was amazing," said Staff Sgt. Michael Clark, 460th SFS MWD handler. "It was a huge step in a positive direction seeing dogs go from being left behind as equipment (in World War II) to their career being celebrated by so many (today)."

At the ceremony, Buddy was presented with a Meritorious Service Medal for his outstanding achievements by Maj. David Haigh, 460th SFS commander.

"We have been sending dogs into harm's way for centuries, it's only fitting that we hold a ceremony like this for Buddy," Haigh said.

Buddy has been adopted by Clark, his handler of nearly three years.

"I hope to give him a normal, stress-free long life as a pet; opposed to the previous life of vicious grueling tasks as a war dog," Clark said.

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