Fort Benning Dogs Back from Inauguration

By Andrew Wittenberg  - bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - More than a million people attended President Barack Obama's inauguration in Washington D.C. this week.

A local group from Fort Benning is back after helping keep the peace on Tuesday.

You know what they say, it's a "rough job," but somebody's got to do it.

Somebody, in this case, is Devyl.

He, along with his handler, Staff Sergeant Deanna Bickford are back at home after helping to keep the peace during Tuesday's Presidential Inauguration.

"It's pretty hectic, there was a lot of people around, so it was kind of chaotic at times, but he worked a lot, so it was good, a really good experience," Bickford said.

Devyl is one of 16 dogs serving in Fort Benning's Military Working Dog Unit.

It's a life of up's and down's.

They train daily on post, constantly preparing to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan, but when the call comes in for a domestic assignment, they ship out.

"We knew exactly who we were going to send there, we evaluate the military working dogs and we make a determination as to which dog is best for which mission," said Kennel Master Sergeant First Class Andrew Fountain said.

After a few minutes with these hairy hounds, which are mostly German Shepherds, I began to question their killer instinct after seeing more slobber than stealth.

In the interest of national security, I had to find out personally.

After all, these dogs are charged with protecting the President of the United States.

The next thing I knew, Sergeant Fountain was strapping me in a training suit.

You know which one I'm talking about.

It's the one that looks like a giant marshmallow, only this one is made out of a tough fiber, meant to withstand the bite of an 80 pound attack dog.

Devyl proved my initial assumption wrong.

The loving canine took me less than 10 seconds after I attempted to run away in my giant marshmallow.