Fort Gordon, GA (WJBF) – This is officially listed as a piece of equipment. A unit in a budget. Each one costs the government 28-thousand dollars.
But if you look beyond Uncle Sam’s spreadsheet, you’ll see what this really is-a living, breathing, furry, four-legged fighting machine.
Sgt. First Class Jeremy Pelkey is the kennel master.
“These dogs are trained to attack with or without command, based on their perception of a threat,” Pelkey says. “If they perceive it as a threat, they’re going to bite and protect their handler.”
These German Shepherds come to Fort Gordon for training.
“We have commands,” Pelkey says “Our particular command is ‘Get ‘Em’.”
Powerful creatures-eager to learn at Fort Gordon’s 222nd Military Police Detachment.
It’s where their masters help them master jumping, and climbing, and fitting in tight spaces.
Intense work. And they love it.
When their education is over, these K-9’s can go anywhere-from the streets of Fort Gordon-
Spc. Donald Beardsley is an Explosives Patrol Handler. He says,
“This dog is a huge deterrent. A lot of people who might want to fight or cause harm, they give up peacefully and that leads to less confrontations in the long run.”
To the war zones of the Middle East.
“I’ve had dogs find explosive devices in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
And a few months ago, a Fort Gordon K-9 was called to duty right outside Trump Tower.
Spc. Beardsley says,
“His job was to search and find explosives.”
Protecting the president-elect.
“So, you’ve got a lot of different sights, sounds, and smells that affect the dog,” Beardsley says. “He worked admirably through all of that and he did his job.”
A job that each of these handlers and K-9’s-all of them soliders-does so well.
“At the end of the day, they’re our best friends,” Pelkey says. “We’re with them more than we’re with our own families sometimes.”
Brothers and sisters in arms-making sure our freedom comes first.