Jerry Owens

Veterans in Blue 2017

Jerry Owens poses for a photo for the Air Force's 2017 Veterans in Blue series. Separating in 1988 as a military working dog handler, Owens helps a non-profit organization that works to provide service dogs to disabled veterans. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Keith James)

Jerry Owens began his military career May 7, 1968. With his draft number approaching, he decided to enlist in the Air Force. Owens’ first duty station was Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. Originally wanting to serve as a boom operator on a KC- 135 or a radio intercept operator, he was selected to become a security police Airman. During his varied career, Owens provided flight line security for KC-135s and B-52s, patrolled, worked gates, and eventually became a military working dog handler. He said working wth K-9s was the job he enjoyed most. “One of my best memories was working a bomb dog named Leon,” Owens said. “I had him during one of my courses to qualify as a working dog handler, and he could find anything no matter where they hid items.” During his career, Owens was stationed in Korea, Japan, and the Philippines. After retiring as a staff sergeant June 1, 1988, he worked for the Dallas Police Department for 24½ years. Owens now works as a dog trainer for Patriot Paws, a company that trains and provides service dogs to disabled veterans, people with mobile disabilities and those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, helping to restore their physical and emotional independence.