I am writing this petition in hopes of securing an early retirement for Military Working Dog Diego, J385. I started training Diego when he was a 1 year old and we had an instant bond. We deployed to Iraq in 2006 and were responsible for the discovery of over 200,000 lbs of weapons, ammunition and explosives. Sadly when I left the Army early in 2007 I had to leave Diego behind. Diego is now 8 years old and serving as a training aid at Lackland Air Force Base. I have spoken with the 341 TSR/DOLM where Diego is currently kenneled and members of the 341st have been a great help. I was informed, although they could not give me a date as to when Diego would be declared "excess", that many dogs become available for adoption at Diego's age. Given the nature our relationship, being his original handler and suffering from PTSD, I believe it is possible and reasonable to begin the process of retiring Diego so that he can aid in my healing. The average life span of a yellow lab is only 10-12 years. Diego has served for over half his life and it's time for him to come home.
Thank you very much for your help.