BAGHDAD – Meet DeVille. The German shepherd is 8 and a working military dog based in Baghdad. He and his handler, Staff Sgt. Deanna Herrera, live at Fort Benning, Ga.
I was riding with troops from Comanche Company, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment on a joint patrol in Zaidon, a conservative rural area of Baghdad province. Herrera and DeVille were along to sniff out any bombs (he didn’t find any).
This is DeVille’s last deployment. He’s reaching canine retirement age, and Herrera is working to adopt him when they return to Georgia.
Until then, though, the presence of a dog seemed to change the atmosphere in the Stryker on the mission. It was an early start, long hours and troops didn’t find anything. But having the dog around was a welcome distraction.