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90th MW Airman throws first pitch at ‘Bark at the Park’ Rockies game


Senior Airman Rafael Del Real, 90th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, stationed at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, threw the first pitch at the Colorado Rockies vs. Atlanta Braves baseball game in Denver, Colorado, Aug. 16, 2017.

The Rockies hosted a ‘Bark at the Park’ event where fans are able to bring their dogs and watch the game with them.

“Senior Airman Del Real has been working with MWD Benny for about three months,” said Staff Sgt. Bryan Gill, 90th SFS MWD kennel master. “He’s put in a lot of hard work to become a validated team with Benny. I like seeing the results of the hard work he has put in to become validated.”

To become an Air Force MWD handler, security forces Airmen need to have a minimum of 18 months of service and complete the 440 hour training course.

“Honestly I was a little thrown off when I was told I would be throwing the first pitch of an MLB game,” said Del Real. “Truthfully it is an honor to be given this opportunity. I’ll be out there representing the Air Force as well as all dog handlers DoD wide. It is certainly a humbling thought.”

Gill added that the Denver USO reached out to the base to ask if someone would be able to throw the first pitch at the game.

“I hope I can live up to be the person Benny looks up and sees,” said Del Real. “When these dogs look up at their handlers, it feels like they’re looking at god. I hope I can live up to half of what Benny sees in me.”