IT’S a case of man’s best friend for a Boston woman serving on tour in Helmand, Afghanistan.
Ex-Boston High School pupil Cpl Natalie Grimer is working with the Royal Air Force as a protection dog handler for the Theatre Military Working Dog Support Unit (TMWDSU) based at Camp Bastion.
“I always wanted to work with dogs and the RAF has more opportunities to do so than the civilian police, which was my other choice,” said Natalie, 22.
“I love every minute of the job. The tour is going quickly and the camaraderie is great.”
As a protection dog handler, Natalie has to take nightly security patrols with her dog Volt around the perimeter of the camp.
“Volt is long-haired and is a cuddly bear,” she said.
“He is better than most dogs I’ve had before; he’s an RAF dog with his own character.”
Natalie joined Royal Air Force Police in 2008 and although enjoying this tour, she admits to missing her parents Vivienne and Andrew Grimer, of Boston, and brother Christopher.
“I’m missing everyone and looking forward to seeing them soon.” she said.
TMWDSU is formed from the Military Working Dogs Squadrons based at Sennelager, in Germany, which rotate on six month tours. The squadrons are made up of Royal Army Veterinary Corps and Royal Air Force dog handlers.
Many dog handlers form close bonds with the dogs as they are typically deployed with the animals they trained with.
Natalie concluded: “I really love working with dogs – it is very fulfilling.”