FORT HOOD, Texas — Meet Corporal Rianna Chavis, a military working dog handler who, with the help of her dog Vvasco, works directly with Fort Hood Military Police to protect the massive installation.
”Force protection, searching cars at the gate, we help in assisting MP’s with narcotic busts or fleeing and aggressive suspects, really cool stuff,” said Chavis. “It’s a very exciting job.”
With her father and two older brothers serving in the Army, she didn’t think twice about her decision to enlist.
”They set an excellent example,” said CPL Chavis. “I got to see kind of how the Army life was and then whenever I discovered the Military Working Dog Handler job, that’s when I was like ... yeah, this is what I want to do.”
Now she gets to spend every day working and training with Vvasco and those who work with her say you couldn’t find a better pair.
”She has a really good relationship with her dog,” said Sergeant Tanner Sheldon, CPL Chavis’s Team Leader. “I can tell that she really cares about him and he’s just a goofy boy. He's older and he’s been around for a while but the energy she brings to the table definitely encourages him to want to keep doing this job and going and going.”
For now, she plans to keep working with Vvasco and other dogs as long as she can but even if that changes, she won't stray far from a kennel.
”If I were to go a different route, it would probably be where the dogs are trained. Handling and teaching the puppies and training them up so they can be dispersed throughout the Army,” said CPL Chavis.
CPL Chavis and Vvasco are leaving on deployment at the end of the month and before they go, her team has a message for her.
”You make a lot of us here at work feel better about doing their job and I know you love doing your job. So, always be yourself, always do your best to do what you were trained to do and be safe out there,” said SGT Sheldon.
CPL Rianna Chavis has spent the past two years working to keep Fort Hood and the surrounding community safe and now she and Vvasco are heading overseas to continue that lifesaving work.