Airmen pay tribute to fallen four-legged comrade

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE - On Thursday airmen at Fairchild Air Force Base turned out to honor one of their own who survived five tours overseas tracking bombs and insurgents only to be struck down with cancer.

Lucky, a Belgian Manois and Fairchild explosive detection dog, served a long, successful career in the Air Force.

In the line of duty, Lucky was front and center in Iraq, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan where he located suspected terrorists and found three magnetic detonators that contained explosives, helping to save countless lives.

His co-workers say Lucky fun, energetic and lively; in the field they remembered him as a fierce fighter. Back home, however, he was remembered for being a lovable dog.

"His ears were just flopping, his tongue always out he just brings smiles to everyone," Staff Sergeant Gerald Martinez with the 92nd Security Forces Squadron said.

Lucky earned his name after surviving two bouts of cancer and a roadside IED.

?We were on one of our missions to search for a weapons cache and our vehicle got struck , we were the lead vehicle, got struck caught it on fire, out the fire out and we were able to press on with our mission,? Tech Sergeant Levi Wilson said in an August 2010 interview.

While he survived two previous bouts, Lucky did not survive his third battle with cancer and passed away. On Thursday Lucky was honored for his service and remembered by his former colleagues as a wing man, best friend and companion.

"You know he is going to take care of you, he's going to watch your back or the front where I got to watch his back," SSGT Martinez said.

With his ashes, paw prints and picture onstage, the spirit of Lucky was alive and well in the room.

"He was one of our best tac dogs and he would protect you to the end," Staff Sergeant Chris Fall said.