Valdosta - At Moody Air Force Base, military working dogs deploy as often as the airmen and their mission is to save lives. "Their main mission is to go out there and find explosive, on the roadway, search vehicles, search anything," says Sgt. William Rider, a trainer with the 823rd Security Forces.
And after seven deployments, Ajax is one of the best. "From the IED's and the weapons and everything he found we estimate about 15,000 lives were saved. Just coalition not including how many Iraqi civilians in the city," says SSgt Morgan Maul, Ajax's handler.
But on his last deployment he almost lost his life while working to save others. While searching for bombs, the Iraqi heat almost got the best of him. "We ran out of AC, we ran out of water because logistically we only planned for two days and it turned into four."
And when their car broke down, he suffered from heat stroke. "His vital signs started dropping really fast and we had to put an IV on him," Maul recalls.
Ajax was airlifted to Kirkuk, his handler Morgan Maul by his side the whole time. "We spent two days at the vet under watch to make sure he was okay."
Ajax did recover but that deployment would be his last and the unit retired him as soon as he returned. But Ajax wasn't homeless for long. He was adopted by Maul. "He's been the best dog I ever had."
Showing the bond between a handler and his dog to keep each other safe is a bond for life.