|Posted by Federation Guards on July 3, 2011 at 1:26 PM|
Photos by Nikki Maxwell: Former Deputy Constable Jon Harris, seen here with his police dog “Buddy,” has taken a position as a dog handler who will be helping search for and spot improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan.
He’s put his life on the line time and time again as a member of law enforcement. Now Jon Harris is going to bat for our warriors.
Harris, the former Gonzales County Precinct 3 deputy constable who recently switched uniforms to join the Gonzales Police Department as a reserve officer, will be wearing a different kind of uniform starting in mid-July. He’ll be back in military fatigues in the hills of Afghanistan as a civilian dog handler for a government contractor.
“We’ll be searching for IEDs (improvised explosive devices),” said Harris, a combat veteran who retired as a senior Army NCO 14 years ago before getting into law enforcement. “I have four to five weeks of training in San Antonio, then on to Fort Benning, Ga., then to Kandahar protecting the troops.”
Harris said he jumped at the opportunity to contribute to the country’s effort against Taliban extremists in Afghanistan.
“It was time for me to do something new,” he said. “I actually got the call while I was at Gonzales PD interviewing (for the reserve position). With my military background, it was natural.”
Harris will leave his wife in charge of the Tactical Paintball center in Harwood he owns, a center which continues to be among the leading facilities in the country for tactical simulations. Troops from Fort Sam Houston and other facilities have used the center for training.
In his new role, Harris will be learning to work with a new dog as well — his K-9 Cop friend Buddy will be staying here.
“They’ll assign me a new dog, but I have someone who will continue to work Buddy while I’m gone,” Harris said.
He said the call to duty struck a familiar chord with him.
“My wife and I have been around the military all our lives, and my son just went to his first duty station at Fort Hood after graduating from West Point,” he said. “It’s a military family. I’m in better shape now than I was then (in the service) and now I’m headed downrange.”
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