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
.@AETCommand's 23rd Flying Training Squadron is transforming the #pilot learning environment, developing vertical-l… https://t.co/I03WAOxZe8
RT @AF_Academy: We're incredibly excited and honored to host the Air Force's 12 Outstanding Airmen over the next few days! 🇺🇸 https://t.co/…
RT @ArmedwScience: #EllsworthAFB is looking for more innovative ways to expand the lifespan of its aircraft. Engineers are using a new deve…
RT @DeptofDefense: .@usairforce loadmasters perform a combat cargo offload qualification as a part of exercise #ThracianFall19 at Cheshnegi…
RT @AirmanMagazine: .@GenDaveGoldfein explains the @usairforce's way-ahead in advanced battle management: Multi-Domain Command and Control.…
Houston -- we are landing October 15 - 17. Cant wait to see what you have to show us! @AggieNetworkhttps://t.co/f3fDo0ntAZ
.@GenDaveGoldfein shares how success in “the future fight” relies on three key components. Find out what they are h… https://t.co/4Hhp3lW1pV
RT @DeptofDefense: “Without us, you live in the dark!” Electricity keeps the mission going at @RAFMildenhall, England. Meet one of the air…
RT @AFSpace: @AirWarCollege faculty members met w/ @US_SpaceCom & AFSPC senior leaders last week. The faculty learned about the challenges…
KC-135 Stratotankers provide the Air Force with global strike & rapid mobility. Like any of our assets we train &… https://t.co/zjATXCfQlN
RT @AF_Falcons: Maybe it will snow in February for the game... Colorado: no need to wait https://t.co/vq7KPsiITx
Cyber security is everyone's responsibility. First step, #BeCyberSmart. https://t.co/mVZr4nJoJK
“There have been some great Airmen, both military and civilian, at Tyndall AFB before, during and after the storm.… https://t.co/EiEga9ur0N
RT @AFSpecOpsCmd: Our community is deeply saddened by the passing of one of our own, TSgt Peter Kraines, a Special Tactics Pararescueman. O…
RT @PACAF: #Airmen with the 31st and 33rd Rescue Squadrons: saving lives is what they do. @KadenaAirBase #Pararescue #HH60 #Readiness #A
RT @HQUSAFEPA: Not our typical #wingman. A butterfly lands on a 31st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief at #Aviano Air Base, Italy 🦋…
Hey Atlanta, Georgia! #AmericasAirForce will be in your hometown this weekend. Join us for the @AtlantaAirShow, be… https://t.co/oW2L7QoGT3
RT @ncaawrestling: .@AF_Wrestle is building something special and putting in the work on The Terrazzo #LetsFly https://t.co/N4GDrg6uF9 📸:…
RT @AF_SBIR_STTR: The Air Force tech accelerator AFWERX is dangling the prospect of an extra injection of capital for commercial startup fi…