RESTON, Va., Nov. 14, 2019 —
He was one of the first elite recruits in his field within the Defense Intelligence Agency.
He assessed vehicles, bags, buildings and compounds. Thousands of inspections were successfully conducted every year, without incident and without complaint. Through specialized drills and training, he maintained his upbeat, energetic and positive personality.
He served proudly, diligently and honorably for his entire career. Day in and day out, he walked tall entering the Agency’s facilities within the National Capital Region. But that changed the day he officially retired from federal service to run wild and free among the tall grass and trees in Tennessee.
Sid, the K-9, and his seven-year career with the Agency ended when he left the Reston campus, alongside his handler Cpl. Scott Frazer, for the last time.
“Sid is 9 years old. He’s on the backend of his career, and he’s a frequent flyer at the vet’s office,” said Frazer.
Sid joined DIA in December 2012, when the K-9 unit stood-up. Coming from Europe, as a bred and trained bomb-sniffing dog, Sid transferred to the U.S. and found a permanent home at the Agency, and a permanent partner with Frazer.
Together, the pair won first place in the 2017 explosives detection competition at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, and third place the following year. They have been on details for the change of commands for the DIA director, congressional and VIP visits to the Agency, and the Marine Corps Marathon. The Frazer-Sid duo has even been part of a specialized study for the Transportation Security Administration’s air cargo screening.
“He works hard, and we train a lot,” said Frazer. “But when he gets home, he turns it off. He becomes a total pet.”
Frazer joined DIA in 2012 after four years of service as a law enforcement officer. Once he graduated from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Georgia, Frazer returned to Washington to serve on the DIA Police force. He later promoted to corporal and competed to be part of the K-9 unit.
After working at the Agency for a few years, Frazer wished to return to serving a state enforcement entity, but chose to stay with DIA until Sid was ready to retire, a day that nearly came two years ago.
“He got really sick and started to drop weight. He went from 74 pounds to 62 in three weeks,” said Frazer. “We thought we were going to lose him. But our vet teamed up with an internal medicine specialist to diagnose his illness and have him put back on weight.”
The diagnosis was grim but manageable. Sid, an excitable and overjoyed pup, suffers from lower intestine disease, inflammatory bowel syndrome, lupus and arthritis. To help combat his illnesses, he has medicine that he takes daily or as needed.
“It doesn’t slow him down much,” said Frazer. “I have to help him calm down sometimes. He gets excited and wants to play, but then, he will start limping and want to (power through). So we have to monitor and moderate the activity level.”
As the visits to the vet’s office increased, the DIA K-9 unit determined it was time for Sid to retire.
“He’s been with us since the beginning; we’ll miss him around here,” said Capt. Bill McEnaney, K-9 unit commander and handler to Norma-Jean, one of Sid’s best friends. “He’s been a great K-9 to have on the team.”
When Frazer submitted his advanced resignation, he requested that Sid be retired into his care.
“My family is his family,” explained Frazer, adding that Sid has canine and human brothers and sisters. “They expect him to be there. The Agency reviewed Sid’s medical and service history, considered his quality of life and career expectation. It was morally and financially the right thing to do to retire him.”
With a few signatures, Sid legally and officially became Frazer’s dog on Nov. 8, 2019. And on that day, the “big sweet oaf Sid” clocked out of DIA for the last time to go home with the Frazer family and lay on his favorite couch, now positioned inside their new house in Sevierville, Tenn.