July Patient Success Story: TSgt (Ret) Timothy and Timi the dual-purpose K9 Unit.
Photo Details: Staff Sgt. Timothy Evans, 11th Security Forces Squadron, poses with his dog Timi, a 5-year-old dual-purpose explosive detection German Shepherd. Sergeant Evans and Timi were deployed for six months to Iraq with the Army’s 101st Airborne Division. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tim Chacon).
My name is Tim and I am a recent implant to the Flagstaff area.
I’ve retired from a career of military service as an explosives dog handler, trainer and kennel master. I was just one of several dog handlers in SFS who were on almost constant deployment rotations to some of the most forward locations around the world. It all started when I became an instructor at the USMC combat explosives dog pre-deployment course in Yuma, AZ. During that experience, I fell in love with AZ. The beauty of this place, along with medicinal marijuana law, has kept me here. I currently attend Northern Arizona University on the GI Bill and frequent High Mountian Health for my medicine.
Cannabis has kept me off a five-plus year opiate addiction I had developed from a spinal fusion/open laminectomy. Cannabis has saved my life… really.
In 2008 the USAF did an article on me and my partner Timi, we were deployed to Iraq from January to July of that year with the Army’s 101st Airborne Division to forward operating locations. We spent our time doing combat patrols, weapons cache searches, improvised explosive device searches, and performing raids. During our deployment, we assisted in finding more than 100 pounds of weapons, explosive material, and explosive-making material. We also neutralized 17 insurgents.
Not only did Timi and I run point on patrols, but there was the ever-present danger of receiving the first wave of enemy fire and/or IEDs. We traveled all over the Salah Ad Din Province by numerous types of vehicles like Humvees and Black Hawk helicopters. Salah Ad-Din is located in the northern portion of Iraq and holds key locations, like Tikrit and Samarra. Our team received small-arms fire on several occasions, having some close calls with snipers. Unfortunately, our unit also had some casualties due to IEDs.
The unit’s loss of life from IEDs emphasized the importance of what we were doing there on the mission. Timi’s natural abilities mixed with his Security Forces training made him extremely effective at locating explosive materials before they became a danger to the unit. Timi’s training also made him very useful at capturing fleeing adversaries and advancing antagonists. I have a lot of love and respect for that dog, she is what kept me going; she is what kept me diligent in my job so I could come home safe.