Local

March 14, 2014

Old Dawgs & Pups recognize one of D-M’s Finest 

Tags:
Senior Airman Josh Slavin
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Staff Sgt. Aaron Escalante, 355th Security Forces Squadron Military Working dog handler, receives a certificate from Major Douglas Whitehead, 355th SFS commander, here March 1. Escalante was recognized for his service as a MWD handler during tours to Qatar and Afghanistan.

The Old Dawgs & Pups organization recently visited the kennel here and presented Staff Sgt. Aaron Escalante, 355th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, with their Alpha Dog Coin. 

The Alpha Dog Coin is one of the more prestigious awards presented by Old Dawgs & Pups. Escalante is only the sixteenth recipient of the award since Old Dawgs & Pups was established in 2005.

“Our latest creation is an unprecedented award program for handlers and MWD staff who we feel deserves some out of the box recognition,” said Bill Cummings, Old Dawgs & Pups Co-founder. “we created a series of unique, serial numbered challenge coins and award certificates for those Airmen who have served three or more tours downrange while enrolled in our program; who have been awarded a military decoration such as a Combat Action Medal, Purple Heart or Bronze Star, or who have accomplished some other act that we feel is specifically worthy of this extra recognition.”

Old Dawgs & Pups was created by Cummings and John Hemp, former Vietnam MWD handlers, to support the handlers in today’s military. Over the past nine years they have supported 107 deployed MWD kennels, more than 390 MWD teams and have shipped more than $92,000 worth of equipment downrange.

Escalante has been part of the organization for several years and has received tremendous support from its members during his time in Qatar and Afghanistan.

“I think it’s awesome what these old timers do for us new guys,” said Escalante. “They sponsored me while I was deployed and sent me care packages full of things I need to get the mission done.”

The MWD career field is one rooted in deep history and a strong heritage. Cummings and Hemp generation of handlers were met with hostility and animosity rather than support when they returned home from overseas, which caused them to turn their backs on the career field for years.

After more than 30 years Cummings and Hemp went to a veteran’s rally in the nation’s capital that opened their eyes. The rally was a turning point for them and they realized they needed to do what they could to support today’s MWDS and their handlers. 

“We created Old Dawgs & Pups to be able to help and support our fellow handlers while they are downrange,” said Hemp. “But doing this has been helpful and almost therapeutic for us. It is a great way for us to forget the pain and negativity we had back when we returned.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
12AF_pict

AFSOUTH medics arrive in Belize to facilitate obstetrics course

Three International Health Specialists and three non-governmental organization personnel supporting the 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) arrived in Belize to facilitate the Global Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics Instruc...
 
 

355th FSS invites D-M to join intramurals

The 355th Force Support Squadron would like to invite all Active Duty and Department of Defense personnel to join the intramural sports program. The intramural sports program is an organized sports competition designed to meet the needs of all personnel beginning at the lowest levels. Active duty personnel have priority in all programs as determined...
 
 

55th Electronic Combat Group

The 55th Electronic Combat Group provides combat-ready EC-130H Compass Call aircraft, crews, maintenance and operational support to combatant commanders. The group also plans and executes information operations, including information warfare and electronic attack, in support of theater campaign plans.
 

 

DUI in Arizona: You can’t afford it

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. –  Arizona has some of the toughest drunken driving laws in the United States. The average overall cost of a DUI in the state of Arizona is around $10,000. Crazy, right? Ten thousand dollars may seem hard to swallow at first, but first time offenders often find themselves paying considerable unforeseen...
 
 

Is being good, good enough?

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. – In today’s Air Force can you settle with just being good? I say, “No.” With the Air Force executing the deepest force cuts since the end of the cold war with programs such as the Quality Force Review Board and the Enlisted Retention Board, what you do and how well you...
 
 

‘Final Rule’ offers broader mental health care coverage

WASHINGTON – TRICARE military health plan beneficiaries will now have access to both TRICARE-certified mental health counselors and supervised mental health counselors, a Defense Health Agency official said here today. In an interview with DoD News, Dr. John Davison, DHA’s behavioral health branch chief, said the so-called “Final Rule,” published yesterday, will go into effect...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin