K-9 teams return from deployment
October 27, 2011
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (October 27, 2011) -- Two Soldiers from the 6th Military Police Detachment received warm welcomes home recently after one-year tours in Iraq.
Fellow unit members, friends and Families applauded as Sgt. Adam Kusnerick and Sgt. Sean Dearden were welcomed back to Fort Rucker during two different ceremonies.
Sgt. Kusnerick returned back to U.S. soil last week while Dearden was welcomed back Monday.
Kusnerick, from Pennsylvania, was happy to reunite with friends and Family.
"This was my second deployment, so I kind of knew what was coming upon return. It's a little weird at first [coming home], but you get used to it," he said.
While deployed, Kusnerick was the handler of working dog Staff Sgt. Miky, and kennel master of military working dogs while deployed in Iraq. Mainly used for patrols, drug and explosives detection and specialized mission functions, the K-9s are considered Soldiers and deploy just like the human variety. They are all active duty and belong to the installation where they came from.
Dearden and his working dog, Rocky, are also glad to be home.
"Being there is busy. You still remain busy once you return, but there's also a time to relax," said Dearden.
While on rest and relaxation leave during deployment last year, Dearden and his wife, Jamie, were married. Jamie was in attendance during the welcome home ceremony and said she made it through the tough times while being apart from her husband with the support of friends and Family.
"I was in Colorado up until a month ago, so having friends and Family around made it easier to handle him being away," she said.
Jamie said she hasn't had a chance to spend much time with Dearden yet, but they have plans to go visit Family and take a small vacation.
For both Kusnerick and Dearden, the time apart from friends and Family was hard, and both said they'll never forget the value of being back together with the ones they care about.