Veteran: Max
Artist: Tony Woolner
Writer: Gayle Gleckler


This is Max’s and my third jump. His big brown eyes are looking up at me as I say," Are you ready Max?” 

He blinks twice and knows we're ready to experience this amazing flight, clinging on to each other. We feel free with blue sky space all around us flying through clouds floating to Afghanistan.

Max is a German Shepherd and a special operations Multi Purpose Canine. His initial training cost well over $50K. After his intensive handler course, and follow up training, getting Max ready to deploy took ten months. Canines are still the cheapest, most portable and effective way to detect explosives. 

Dogs have been used in combat for centuries because of their keen senses, but modern technology has propelled them to be one of our greatest assets. Every dog is Explosive/IED detection- trained and can apprehend and incapacitate insurgents. They can also track fugitives from targets well ahead of patrols.

I admit Max is more agile and stealthy than I am, and certainly able to keep a lower profile. He simply can do things that I cannot do. He and other MPCs enhance the capability of our operational team to detect all explosives.

The special operations Multi Purpose Canine skills are even greater. Their olfactory ability isn't limited to explosives. When on patrol MPC’s have the enormous capability to detect insurgents via odor from hundreds of meters away adding to the operators‘ effectiveness. 

As we take the “Leap" Max is outfitted with the most cutting edge explosive detection in existence; a bulletproof vest, night vision camera, and a Global Positioning System. 

Canines have saved thousands of lives on the battlefield and saved millions of dollars in equipment damage from IED's and other explosives.

But not only are these dogs critically important to our military being successful, they are so much more. 

Max and other dogs involved in our military boost the morale for the troops, making us guys feel safer, and a lot more confident. I love spending time with Max. Not only is he my best friend, he's saved my life and many others.