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Local Staff Sergeant Takes Part in History

Shantella Y. Sherman | 1/28/2009, 2:35 p.m.

The recent inauguration of President Barack Obama had a significant impact on the lives of average citizens whether glued to their television sets or among the throngs of Americans braving the cold and crowds to witness it in person. For U.S. Army Staff Sergeant LaQuan Daniel, 26, working as a part of the president€s security forces, alongside canine officer Kylie, was an honor.

€The most professional and sharp Army personnel were selected for this mission,€ Daniel said. €This was a very important part of history and we needed the best soldiers out there making sure it happened.€

While SSG Daniel insists that the preparation was no different that any other event, there was extensive preparation made to help usher in the new president void of any incidents.
€We train the hardest for the smallest mission or for huge events like the inauguration,€ Daniel said. €In addition, we train in environments where we are around people as well as loud noise to get our dogs used to those kinds of distractions, in those environments.€

SSG Daniel, a native of Richmond, Va., said that with more than eight years of service €" five of which with dog handling service €" keeping the canines and their handlers in control of their environments requires serious instruction.

€Training for the dogs and handlers originally takes place at Lackland Air Force base in San Antonio, Texas. At Fort Myer, the Army continues vigorous day-to-day training with the Army canines and dog handlers together to maintain proficiency and skills,€ Daniel said.

So how did Kylie handle the record crowds, extended events, and potential danger? According to SSG Daniel, like any other trained and skilled officer.

€There was really no adverse response from the dogs because we train in all different environments. Things went well,€ Daniel said.

SSG Daniel and Kylie have also provided security for the presidential debate in New York City, the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis and a trip to Europe with former President George W. Bush.

Daniel said that his time and missions with the U.S. Army have been extensive.

€I have previously been stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina as a military police officer; Camp Humphrey Korea as a military working dog handler; and Fort Bliss, Texas as a military working dog handler,€ Daniel said. €I€ve also been deployed three times in support of Iraqi Freedom, twice performing military police duties and once performing military working dog duties for the Army.€

While required at all times to honor the U.S. and the wishes of the commander in chief, SSG Daniel said that being a part of the installation of the first African American president did have special meaning.

€It was very exciting and an honor to be a part of history. My family members were just as excited, if not even more excited than I was. They were proud to see their son be a part of assisting in history in the making,€ said Daniel. €I took an oath to serve my country and obey my commanding officers appointed above me, no matter what race, or gender. But, it is truly an honor to be a part of this new era of change.€