HomeNewsArticle Display

Defender reunites with MWD

Staff Sgt. Amanda Cubbage, a 355th Security Forces Squadron member, reunites with her recently retired military working dog, Rick, in Tucson, Ariz., Aug. 8, 2017. Cubbage worked with Rick while she served as a MWD handler at Osan Air Base, South Korea. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Michael X. Beyer)

Staff Sgt. Amanda Cubbage, a 355th Security Forces Squadron member, poses for a photo with her military working dog, Rick, while assigned to Osan Air Base, South Korea. Cubbage was able to adopt Rick after he was retired due to old age. (Courtesy photo)

Staff Sgt. Amanda Cubbage, a 355th Security Forces Squadron member, reunites with her recently retired military working dog, Rick, in Tucson, Ariz., Aug. 8, 2017. Cubbage worked with Rick while she served as a MWD handler at Osan Air Base, South Korea. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Michael X. Beyer)

TUCSON, Ariz. (AFNS) -- (This feature is part of the "Through Airmen's Eyes" series. These stories focus on individual Airmen, highlighting their Air Force story.)

After nearly a year apart, it was an emotional moment when Staff Sgt. Amanda Cubbage, a 355th Security Forces Squadron member and prior military working dog handler, was reunited with her MWD, Rick, Aug. 8, 2017.

Rick was flown into Tucson, Arizona, from Osan Air Base, South Korea, after a lengthy adoption process.

“It’s (like) getting part of your heart back,” Cubbage said.

The pair served at Osan AB together for 11 months. On duty, they conducted exercises, bomb threat and security checks. Off duty, they were each other’s wingman.

“Being stationed in Korea unaccompanied, he was my support—he was there for everything I needed,” Cubbage said. “He was there when I was happy, he was there when I was sad. Everything I needed came from him.”

As a MWD handler, Cubbage has worked with several other dogs, and described parting ways as bittersweet.

“It’s just like having a kid moving off and going to college,” Cubbage said. “You still love your kid, it’s just the fact that they’re growing up, they’re going out, and they’re doing other things.”

“Rick was different than the others,” Cubbage said. “He instantly won me over with his head-strong personality.”

After seven years of service, Rick was retired due to old age. Cubbage found out about the opportunity to adopt retired MWDs from a fellow handler.

“And that’s when I reached out to the American Humane Society,” Cubbage said. “They said ‘Absolutely, we’d love to help out.’”

MWDs are allowed to be adopted after retirement due to “Robby’s Law,” which was passed by Congress in 2000.

The adoption process can be long and drawn out, involving tedious paperwork, immunizations, and in Rick’s case, crossing the Pacific Ocean.

“You sit there and you wait and wait, and you just count down the days, count down the time until you’re reunited with him,” Cubbage said.

Now that he’s finally reunited with his former companion, Rick will live a quiet and retired life, filled with rest and relaxation, and plenty of treats.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
Nearly 10,000 participants from around the world took part in the 2019 Military World Games in Wuhan, China. And… https://t.co/CRYacyFtEJ
Ever heard of the rule of 0-0-1-3? No. Well it means to have zero alcohol if you're underage, zero drinks if you're… https://t.co/7bNRnhYuWS
RT @HQ_AFMC: #Readiness was on display by our @AFResearchLab teams during a live-virtual-constructive training simulation, enabling #Airmen
RT @AFWERX: We can't wait for 2020: The @USAirForce Advanced Manufacturing Olympics is slated for July 8-9 in Salt Lake City & will bring t…
RT @AirNatlGuard: “The Silver Flag training sites provide our Airmen with real-world scenarios to reinforce our Air Force Specialty Code sk…
RT @US_TRANSCOM: Watch a @usairforce KC-10A refuel, and be refueled during same mission in support of @CJTFOIR. #Togetherwdeliver #NKAWTG #…
RT @AETCommand: Transforming the way we learn with technology is one of our key priorities here in the First Command! Check out the photos…
RT @AirNatlGuard: This week, @ChiefNGB visited the @PRNationalGuard at Muñiz Air National Guard Base to meet with senior leaders and discus…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: YOU are the most important reason for our mission success. Take care of each other & preserve the connections & commun…
RT @AirmanMagazine: When it comes to acquisitions, the @usairforce has the need for speed. Equipping Airmen with the best technology start…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: A distinct privilege to help unveil the F-117 exhibit, establishing this remarkable aircraft in its rightful place in…
RT @AirNatlGuard: “For me personally, the CAP and Air Guard go hand in hand. When I look back at any state active duty or state support we…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Honored to participate on a panel with my fellow Service Chiefs at the @ReaganInstitute. May our leaders of today & th…
It was just a childhood dream but it crescendoed into this #Airman becoming the only woman in the #AirForce to both… https://t.co/vzGjPe7Vri
RT @USAFReserve: Loadmaster first Reservist to complete USAF Weapons School Advanced Instructor Course (Story by the @403rdWing) #ReserveRe
.@secafoffical will speak about America’s footprint in space going forward at 5:45 EST. Watch live at https://t.co/aSlw5ceGJj
RT @DeptofDefense: LIVE: @EsperDoD delivers keynote remarks at the Reagan National Defense Forum. #RNDF https://t.co/ZXhuaTOQTm
Today, we help Col. Charles McGee, a Tuskegee Airman, combat veteran and American legend, celebrate 💯 sorties aroun… https://t.co/bcmcDr4IYW
December 7, 1941. #PearlHarbor and six other #military bases on the Hawaiian island of Oahu were attacked, beginnin… https://t.co/4GvB8yPpGV