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.


 
 

 

Eliminating stigma: A leadership responsibility

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — As a child, a close relative of mine committed suicide. In those days, mental health was only discussed in hushed tones and little support was available. I was shaped by this experience and in my military career, I have tried to create an environment where people feel comfortable discussing their problems and...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Alystria Maurer)

Dietary Supplements: Safety still an issue

SAN ANTONIO — Being a Servicemember is as physically demanding, at times, as being a professional athlete. As a result, Servicemembers are especially conscious of physical training requirements and the need to remain fit and ...
 
 

Air Forces Southern hosts first Aeromedical Symposium

(U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Heather R. Redman) Pararescuemen from the 48th Rescue Squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., demonstrate casualty care to dozens of military medical professionals from Latin American nations Aug. 28. Air Forces Southern hosted the Aerospace Medicine Symposium as a multinational key leader engagement designed to strengthen aerospace...
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Brandon Lingle)

D-M pararescuemen hone skills in Bagram’s excess structures

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — Pararescuemen from the 83rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, participated in a mission rehearsal where they practiced breaching, clearing, patient care and egress...
 
 

Tuition assistance program changes Oct. 1

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — Effective Oct. 1, new changes will go into effect that impact the Air Force Tuition Assistance Program. Personnel using the TA program will now be required to pass all undergraduate courses with a grade of “C” or higher. A grade of “D” will be considered a failing grade and...
 
 

Suicide prevention more than a month-long campaign

WASHINGTON (AFNS)  — All Airmen have a responsibility that lasts much longer than a one-month campaign. This responsibility extends beyond ourselves and includes our work environment, our families, friends, fellow Airmen and our communities. While Suicide Prevention Month is observed across the United States in September, the month-long event is a reminder of everyone’s 24/7,...
 




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