TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – --
“It’s never easy to lose a member of your team, and last Tuesday was that moment for this unit,” the major said solemnly while addressing the crowd. “The unit lost a teammate, lost a family member, and these handlers who sit here today lost a very good friend.”
Major Joshua D. Frizzell, 325th Security Forces Squadron (SFS) commander, was speaking to the crowd about Jack, a military working dog (MWD) and distinguished member of Team Tyndall, who died Aug. 28, 2018.
Frizzell said MWD Jack was whelped Jan. 3, 2009. He went to Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, to train to become an explosive detector dog and arrived at Tyndall Sept. 16, 2010, to work with eight handlers over the course of eight years.
In those eight years, Jack had six secret service missions and five deployments. Some of those deployments include Afghanistan, Qatar and Kuwait.
“In Afghanistan Jack found a 24-pound explosive device attached to a plate and was credited with saving every one of those service members on that mission, doing the job that he loved and doing the job he was great at,” said Frizzell.
Frizzell went on to say that Staff Sgt. Quinton Pigg, a member of the 633rd Security Forces Squadron, was the last handler to deploy with Jack. Together, they earned the Top Dog Award at pre-deployment training center Fort Bliss, Texas.
“He did not like me at first,” said Pigg. “I would come to the kennel and just sit and talk to him outside of his kennel while he tried to eat me through it. One day, I came to his kennel, and somehow, he managed to get his water bucket off the kennel fence.”
Pigg then recalled what he was thinking in that moment, “Well, today is the day that I’m going to find out if he likes me.”
“I entered his kennel while he was still barking and going crazy,” said Pigg. “Once I got into his kennel he came up to me. I just closed my eyes as he started sniffing me. I opened my eyes to him just standing there looking at me as if to say, ‘What in the world are you doing?’ I fixed his water bowl, rubbed his back for a minute and walked out as calmly as I could. Jack and I became a team on June 1, 2016.”
Along with all of Jack’s handlers, every person who met Jack had a story to tell about him.
“Everyone knew who Jack was, and everyone knew not to mess with Jack,” said Staff Sgt. Stephen Holloway, a member of the 325th SFS and one of Jack’s handlers. “It was definitely an honor to get to work with this dog and he will truly be missed.”
Among all the people who will miss Jack is Tech. Sgt. Billy Lofton, 325th SFS MWD training supervisor. Lofton got emotional when thinking of what he would tell Jack now if he had the chance.
Lofton managed to say, “Jack, you did a good job. Job well done.”