AUSTIN (KXAN) - Sometimes a man’s best friend can also be his life-saving combat buddy and one Austin soldier knows just how valuable that can be.
Austin native Pfc. Benjamin E. Murphy, 26, is assigned to the Tactical Explosives Team 2/10 Security Forces Assistance Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.
The unit is comprised of military working dogs and their handlers; like Murphy.
Murphy joined the army in 2011 and eventually graduated from the One Station Unit Training for Calvary Scouts at Fort Knox, Ky.
"I knew what was going on in the world," said Murphy. "I felt I was getting older and I wanted to help out before it was too late."
After graduating OSUT, Murphy made the move to the North Country where he was assigned to 1st Platoon, Troop B, 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mtn. Div., Fort Drum, N.Y.
Murphy was eventually inducted into the world of military working dogs where the Army utilizes K-9s to run communication lines, subdue suspects and sniff out explosives. He attended a two-part dog handler’s course held in Peru, Ind., and Yuma, Ariz.
"The training was stressful," said Murphy. "Probably the most stressful thing I have done, and that is saying something."
Murphy’s dedication to helping others, even before the Army, has taken him to Tibet and Honduras where as he puts it, “"I helped to improve the living conditions of those in need. It was an eye-opening experience."
His service in the Army has led him on many adventures but Murphy’s love for people has been with him through it all.
"From an early age I was cognizant of how lucky I was," said Murphy. "I have always felt the need to help others, and the Army has given me the tools to make a bigger impact."