The legacy of those who lost their lives in 9/11 and the fight overseas lives on here in Austin thanks to two police officers and their partners. Raggio proudly wears his Austin Police Department badge.
"People will look and ask Raggio? Where does that come from? That's when I get to tell the story," explained Officer Clint Hamilton. It's a story he will gladly tell over and over.
Hamilton works alongside Raggio who came to APD from the TSA. He's almost eight-years-old and is a Labrador Retriever. The two were paired together in November of 2011. K9 Raggio was not eligible for service as a military working dog but was a perfect fit for APD.
Hamilton started to research his new partner's name. "He was named after Eugene Raggio who was killed when the towers collapsed," said Hamilton. Raggio worked as a port authority supervisor. He survived the World Trade Center attacks in 1993 and was awarded medals for his bravery.
"He was able to evacuate the floor he was on and then he decided, from what I understand, to go back in the trade center to rescue others and that's when the towers collapsed," recalled Hamilton. Hamilton reached out to Raggio's family in order to learn more about him to better tell the story. Raggio posthumously received the Medal of Valor from President Bush for his bravery and heroism on that dark day.
"It's absolutely very humbling to have the honor of working a dog who is named in remembrance of a 9/11 victim," said Hamilton.
K9 Raggio is not the only dog named after a hero. K9 Horrigan works with Officer Kent Collins. His namesake is Master Sergeant Robert Horrigan who was killed in Iraq. Horrigan graduated from Crockett High School in Austin and was set to retire from the Army before he was killed.
"People like Robert Horrigan fly under the radar. They do their job and don't look for praise," said Collins. Collins stays in touch with Horrigan's twin brother who works for the Austin Fire Department.
Inside the Texas State Cemetery stands two steel columns from Ground Zero. They serve as a reminder of that dark day 15 years ago.
"Everyone has that moment about when they were told," recalls Hamilton.
"I can tell you exactly where I was when the planes crashed into the towers," said Collins.
Both Hamilton and Collins enlisted in the Marines during peace time and now protect Austin. "The men and women who go in now know exactly what they're getting into and we can't show enough respect," said Collins.
K9 Raggio searches for drugs K9 Horrigan is assigned to the bomb squad. While these two continue sniffing and serving their partners will keep sharing the memory of their namesakes.
"That's my goal to honor the name and remember who he is named after and where he comes from," explained Hamilton.
"It's great to work with my partner Horrigan and carry on the legacy of a local Austin hero," said Collins.
K9 Raggio and K9 Horrigan go to work each day their partners do.