June 10, 2013
Retired Gunnery Sgt. MWD Lucca K458 arrived in Dallas last night after flying in first class. Lucca is the guest of honor for the International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators annual training conference in Dallas. This year’s conference will be held at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, Dallas, Texas, from June 11th – 13th.
The annual IABTI conference is an opportunity for security manufacturers and consultants to meet with explosives professionals and bomb technicians worldwide who come to learn the latest methods, techniques, and tools and share them with other IABTI members.
Tomorrow night Lucca will have the pleasure of seeing her good friend and former handler Cpt. Juan Rodriguez. Rodriguez was Lucca’s second handler and is credited with saving her life after she was severely injured by an IED while performing her duty in the Helmand Province in Afghanistan.
Unfortunately, this accident cost Lucca her front leg, but not her heroic spirit. She remains in the spotlight as one of the most famous dogs in U.S. Military history.
Lucca has made the national headlines ever since her accident. First for her bravery in saving thousands of troops through IED detection, then in the bravery she displayed as she healed from an amputation. Lucca not only taught injured troops that life goes on after amputation, she also showed dog owners that missing a limb didn’t mean a dog could no longer enjoy life.
According to their website, the International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators is an independent non-profit professional association formed for countering the criminal use of explosives. This is sought through the exchange of training, expertise, and information among personnel employees in the fields of law enforcement, fire and emergency services, the military, forensic science and other related fields.
Although Lucca is officially retired, she does tend to get around quite a bit, especially with events involving the military. She recently traveled with the first National U.S. Military Working Dogs monument. Lucca, who lives with her former handler Chris Willingham and his family in Quantico, Virginia, is also up for a 2013 Hero Dog award. This girl must have more energy than the Energizer Bunny as she continues to serve her county.
For more information on Lucca, please visit her Facebook page.