An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

2 MWDs retire and find homes with their handlers

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Travis Beihl
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

The 81st Security Forces Squadron held a retirement ceremony for Densy and Ares, two military working dogs, at the Keesler Medical Center Don Wylie Auditorium Dec. 2, on Keesler Air Force Base, Miss.

Normally retirees receive a pin to commemorate their time spent in the military. This ceremony concluded in the presentation of the official retirement collars and a dog bowl toast from the dog handlers to their wingmen.

Densy, a Belgian Malinois, was accepted into military service in April 2007 and served for more than nine years. She spent the last two years, including one deployment, with her handler and now owner, Tech. Sgt. James Martin III, 81st SFS charlie flight chief.

According to Martin, Densy had helped him get through several tough situations when they were deployed and he is excited to give such a close friend a home.

“After a long career, Densy’s time working has come to an end,” said Martin. “To that we say thank you for all you have done, my family and I love you.”

Ares, a German Shepard, got into military service in September 2007 and served more than eight years. Ares spent the last two years with Staff Sgt. Jordan Leiter, 81st SFS K-9 handler, now owner, to included one deployment.  

“I'm very fortunate to have had the opportunity to take Ares on my first deployment and I was proud to have him by my side,” said Leiter. “Now that his retirement is here, bringing him home is going to be fun and exciting and hopefully we can repay Ares by being that loving family and giving him a spot on our couch.”

MWDs and their handlers work together, both on assignment at their home station and while deployed, where their jobs could have them facing life or death situations. Due to this, the bond between handler and dog must be strong.

“There are fewer relationships stronger than a MWD and their handler,” said Maj. Devin Sproston, 81st SFS commander. “Densy and Ares have served the U.S. and Keesler for nearly their whole lives. Both, at around the age of 84 dog years, will make the transition from the kennel to the couches of their wingmen.”