SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Many people who join the military don’t end up with their dream job, but one Sioux City native spent 21 years traveling the globe while doing a job he loved.
In 1978, Rick Honeycutt graduated high school in Sioux City and immediately enlisted himself in the army.
“Instead of working at packing houses locally here in Sioux City, I wanted to go into the army. plan was to do three years in the military police and get out become a Sioux City Police Officer,” said Rick Honeycutt.
However, before Honeycutt could leave he was given an opportunity of a lifetime, to become a military working dog handler.
“Which was one of my dreams to train dogs. It’s just basically scent association and training the dogs how to smell and sniff out the items you want them to sniff out. “Drug dogs are about four to five different odors that they learn and bomb dogs are about 12 odors that they have to learn,” said Honeycutt.
During his service, Honeycutt visited 29 countries like Africa, Germany, and Mexico, running training drills with his dogs and enjoying what the country had to offer him. During his time as a dog handler, Honeycutt got to meet many people including former United States Secretary of State Colin Powell.
“His routine was that he would like to swim in the morning and I would have to check the pool area of the hotel he was in. Well, they had put chemicals in the pool that morning. His chief of security was a good friend of mine and he said well what are we gonna do, he says well I got a basketball let’s go out and play basketball. So we played three on three with Colin Powell, could throw elbows just like anybody else and the first thing he says is there’s no rank on the court,” said Honeycutt.
In 2000 after roughly 21 years of service, Honeycutt left the military after an injury involving basketball. However, he hasn’t left the military world behind and now spends his days helping other veterans.
“I work with Iowa Workforce Development and I go out and talk to businesses about veterans and help veterans get employment, so it’s important for me to still be part of the veteran world,” said Honeycutt.