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Holloman mourns the loss of Military Working Dog

Staff Sgt. Christopher Secondi, 49th Security Forces Squadron, speaks about his late partner, a military working dog named Roky, during a memorial service at the base chapel at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., Oct. 11. Secondi was Roky’s handler, and he spoke about his many memories with his canine partner. Roky, a 5-year-old German Shepherd, died after a demonstration at Holloman AFB Oct. 2. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Leah Ferrante/Released)

Staff Sgt. Christopher Secondi, 49th Security Forces Squadron, speaks about his late partner, a military working dog named Roky, during a memorial service at the base chapel at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., Oct. 11. Secondi was Roky’s handler, and he spoke about his many memories with his canine partner. Roky, a 5-year-old German Shepherd, died after a demonstration at Holloman AFB Oct. 2. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Leah Ferrante/Released)

Roky, a five-year-old German Shepherd, military working dog, died after a demonstration at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., Oct. 2. A memorial service was held at Holloman AFB base chapel Oct. 11. Roky served as a military working dog at Holloman AFB and in deployed locations. While deployed, Roky found more than 10,000 grams of illegal narcotics, conducted a thousand random anti-terrorism measures, and performed 400 hours of foot patrol. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Daniel E. Liddicoet/Released)

Roky, a five-year-old German Shepherd, military working dog, died after a demonstration at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., Oct. 2. A memorial service was held at Holloman AFB base chapel Oct. 11. Roky served as a military working dog at Holloman AFB and in deployed locations. While deployed, Roky found more than 10,000 grams of illegal narcotics, conducted a thousand random anti-terrorism measures, and performed 400 hours of foot patrol. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Daniel E. Liddicoet/Released)

A memorial sits on display in honor of military working dog Roky during a service at the base chapel at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., Oct. 11. Roky, a 5-year-old German Shepherd, died after a demonstration at Holloman AFB Oct. 2. Roky served as a military working dog at Holloman AFB and in deployed locations. While deployed, Roky found more than 10,000 grams of illegal narcotics, conducted a thousand random anti-terrorism measures, and performed 400 hours of foot patrol. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Leah Ferrante/Released)

A memorial sits on display in honor of military working dog Roky during a service at the base chapel at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., Oct. 11. Roky, a 5-year-old German Shepherd, died after a demonstration at Holloman AFB Oct. 2. Roky served as a military working dog at Holloman AFB and in deployed locations. While deployed, Roky found more than 10,000 grams of illegal narcotics, conducted a thousand random anti-terrorism measures, and performed 400 hours of foot patrol. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Leah Ferrante/Released)

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Holloman Air Force Base members said their goodbyes to one of their own at a memorial service that rendered full military honors to a 49th Security Forces Squadron Military Working Dog Oct. 11.

Roky/M628, a 5-year-old German Shepherd, died immediately following a demonstration Oct. 2 at Holloman AFB. The cause of his death has not been determined at this time.

"Military Working Dog Roky was my friend, my comrade, my wingman and my partner," said Staff Sgt. Christopher Secondi, 49th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler. "MWD Roky showed love to many, I just happened to be the one chosen to interact with him daily as his partner and handler."

Roky arrived at Holloman AFB in Sept. 2010 and was certified as a patrol and narcotics working dog.

"While deployed, Roky found over 10 thousand grams of illegal narcotics from a combined 90 different finds," said Staff Sgt. Michael Haeberle, NCO in charge of military working dogs. "During Roky's time assigned to the 49th SFS and deployed, he conducted approximately1000 random anti-terrorism measures, along with over 400 hundred hours of foot patrol."

In addition, Roky had a large role in many outreach events, which helped build the connection between Holloman AFB and the local community, said Haeberle.

"He loved to perform in demonstrations, I could see how excited he got when it was time to perform," said Secondi. "Roky never failed to put a smile on my face and those he worked with."

Roky also assisted the First Sergeants and Commanders drug enforcement policies on base by conducting 10 dorm sweeps that located eight different illegal substances during those searches, said Haeberle.

"I have been in this program since 2003 and I have spent enough time to know a very talented dog when I see one," said Haeberle. "I am going to say Roky is the top of the line, I have never seen a dog like him."

Like all other active duty members, Roky was provided full military honors, which included presentation of the colors, playing Taps, a flag-folding ceremony and a three-volley firing party.

"The loss of Roky is a blow to our squadron, the Air Force and the United States of America to lose such a valuable asset," said Secondi. "He was one of the most loyal and compassionate friends I had and the loss of Roky will never be forgotten in my mind."

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