News>Holloman mourns the loss of Military Working Dog
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Christopher Secondi, 49th Security Forces Squadron, speaks about his late partner, a military working dog named Roky, during a memorial service at the base chapel at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., Oct. 11. Secondi was Roky’s handler, and he spoke about his many memories with his canine partner. Roky, a five-year-old German Sheppard, died after a demonstration at Holloman AFB Oct. 2. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Leah Ferrante/Released)
Roky, a five-year-old German Shepherd, military working dog, died after a demonstration at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., Oct. 2. A memorial service was held at Holloman AFB base chapel Oct. 11. Roky served as a military working dog at Holloman AFB and in deployed locations. While deployed, Roky found more than 10,000 grams of illegal narcotics, conducted a thousand random anti-terrorism measures, and performed 400 hours of foot patrol. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Daniel E. Liddicoet/Released)
A memorial sits on display in honor of military working dog Roky during a service at the base chapel at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., Oct. 11. Roky, a 5-year-old German Shepherd, died after a demonstration at Holloman AFB Oct. 2. Roky served as a military working dog at Holloman AFB and in deployed locations. While deployed, Roky found more than 10,000 grams of illegal narcotics, conducted a thousand random anti-terrorism measures, and performed 400 hours of foot patrol. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Leah Ferrante/Released)
by Airman 1st Class Colin Cates
49th Wing Public Affairs
10/11/2012 - HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Team Holloman Members said their goodbyes to one of their own at a memorial service here that rendered full military honors to a 49th Security Forces Squadron military working dog Oct. 11.
Roky/M628, a 5-year-old German Shepherd, died immediately following a demonstration Oct. 2 at Holloman Air Force Base,N.M. The cause of his death has not been determined at this time.
"Military working dog Roky was my friend, my comrade, my wingman and my partner," said Staff Sgt. Christopher Secondi, 49th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler. "MWD Roky showed love to many, I just happened to be the one chosen to interact with him daily as his partner and handler."
Roky arrived at Holloman AFB in September 2010 and was certified as a patrol and narcotics working dog.
"While deployed, Roky found over 10,000 grams of illegal narcotics from a combined 90 different finds," said Staff Sgt. Michael Haeberle, NCO in charge of military working dogs. "During Roky's time assigned to the 49th SFS and deployed, he conducted approximately 1,000 random anti-terrorism measures, along with over 400 hundred hours of foot patrol."
In addition, Roky had a large role in many outreach events, which helped build the connection between Holloman AFB and the local community, said Haeberle.
"He loved to perform in demonstrations. I could see how excited he got when it was time to perform," said Secondi. "Roky never failed to put a smile on my face and those he worked with."
Roky also assisted the first sergeants and commanders drug enforcement policies on base by conducting 10 dorm sweeps that located eight different illegal substances during those searches, said Haeberle.
"I have been in this program since 2003, and I have spent enough time to know a very talented dog when I see one," said Haeberle. "I am going to say Roky is the top of the line, I have never seen a dog like him."
Like all other active duty members, Roky was provided full military honors, which included presentation of the colors, playing Taps, a flag-folding ceremony and a three-volley firing party.
"The loss of Roky is a blow to our squadron, the Air Force and the United States of America to lose such a valuable asset," said Secondi. "He was one of the most loyal and compassionate friends I had, and the loss of Roky will never be forgotten in my mind."
10/19/2012 2:28:06 PM ET Sincerest condolences to SSgt. Secondi. It is so hard to lose a good canine partner.
SAR dog mom, Louisiana
10/17/2012 3:00:56 PM ET Thank you Roky for your service to our country and for watching over us...rest in peace and know we are thinking of you. You were a special dog and will always be remembered. Retired AF
Katie , Moody AFB
10/15/2012 1:15:33 PM ET That is terrible what on earth could have been the cause of his death so sudden like that The dogs are indeed a valuable asset and it breaks my heart to see one of them especially so young pass away.
Eileen, Moody AFB GA
10/15/2012 12:11:11 PM ET For those of us who have had the opportunity to work with these wonderful dogs we know they are more than another tool we use to get the job done. Each dog has its own unique personality and when matched up with the right handler the things they are able to accomplish are truly amazing. They are our partners our wingman and most importantly our friends. I know I NEVER feared any situation when my military working dog was by my side. Rest in Peace Roky and thank you for a job well done.
Old Dog Handler, Somewhere
10/12/2012 7:46:02 PM ET As a dependent of a retired SMSgt from Securty Forces here at Edwards AFB. I am sorry to have read the loss of an MWD at such a young age. RIP Roky your service to our country is appreciated. My heart goes out to your partner and handler and to the members of K-9 unit and your squadron.
Lynn Kennedy, Rosamond CA
10/12/2012 7:38:24 PM ET What a beautiful service for a beautiful Shepherd. Rest in peace Roky...go across the Rainbow Bridge. Your buddies are awaiting your arrival.
Marge McCathern, San Antonio TX
10/12/2012 5:47:42 PM ET My youngest son A1C Albert D. Lucas stationed @ Holloman and I keep up with what is posted on this website. This is a beautiful dog and I know he will be greatly missed by his handler. My condolences to all.