Skip to comments.America's VetDaogs - The Veteran's K-9 Corps
Posted on 05/26/2008 4:57:57 AM PDT by SLB
SMITHTOWN, NY Newly enlisted Sergeants First Class Boe and Budge are two black Labrador Retrievers about to embark on a historic mission.
For the first time in the history of the United States Army, skilled therapy dogs, provided by Americas VetDogs, will be deployed to Iraq to help relieve combat stress of soldiers in the field. These two specially trained dogs will work with a multidisciplinary team of Army professionals to address mental health issues as they arise in theater.
Staff Sergeants Mike Calaway stands with a Black Labrador Retriever in a VetDogs jacket. Photo credit Christopher Appoldt.Says Major Stacie Caswell, commander of the 85th Medical Detachment, Dogs have been the unsung heroes of our war efforts. Bringing therapy dogs into Iraq will take dogs to the next level on the battlefield. The therapy dogs will be another method that our Combat Stress teams can use to break down mental health stigma and assist soldiers.
Anecdotal evidence has existed for years that pets provide positive health benefits such as blood pressure and stress reduction, but more recently, scientific studies have been conducted to determine the validity of pet therapy.
Staff Sergeants Jack Greene and Mike Calaway, certified occupational therapy assistants with the 85th Medical Detachment and currently deployed to Iraq, were given temporary duty assignments to the campus of Americas VetDogs in Smithtown, N.Y. in December 2007 to bond and learn how to work with their new charges.
Staff Sergeants Jack Greene and Mike Calaway walk their Black Labradors in a field at the Guide Dog Foundation.After an intensive five-day training program, Budge and Boe were formally presented to the Army during the handover ceremony on December 13. According to Wells Jones, CEO of Americas VetDogs, We are privileged and proud to have the opportunity to give something back to the men and women who dedicate themselves to our country. Were honored to serve those who have served us. The dogs will accompany Greene and Calaway as they work with soldiers, whether in a one-to-one or group setting, to cope with homefront issues, sleep problems, or day-to-day operational stress. Budge and Boe can help provide emotional comfort through physical interactions such as playing fetch or simple petting.
Staff Sergeants Mike Calaway stands with his Black Labrador outside of the Guide Dog Foundation Administrative Center.Says Greene, The dogs have a natural, uncanny way of reducing stress. Its kind of magical. Calaway concurs. They will be great morale boosters as members of the team, he adds. Americas VetDogs is honored to make the gift of these special canines to the Armys 85th Medical Detachment, and proud to be called to serve the valiant men and women who serve our country.
Americas VetDogs, a subsidiary of the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, offers guide and service dogs to veterans of all eras. A major component of the program is to provide service dogs to members of the military recently wounded in combat.
IMHO a very worthwhile organization to receive the attention of FReepers and donations from the same.
man are my daogs barking...
Bump to you for Memorial Day 2008
America’s VetDaogs - should be “America’s VetDogs.”
Spell check is your friend.
See #4 - Grin
How about a spelling correction?
Now that was FAST! Thanks and Happy Memorial Day. We are off to the Central Kentucky Veteran’s Cemetery and then Ft Knox for the ceremonies at those locations.
Good deal........ Everyone who owns a good pup knows the benefits. I will donate too this group !
Hope your day is easy Sir ......you earned it !
Stay safe !
Heading to Radcliff for the dedication of a POW/MIA Memorial at the Central Kentucky Veteran's Cemetery and then on to Ft Knox for the ceremony there. The local American Legion is having a parade and then a ceremony at the Legion Park, the speaker is COL Chuck Wagoner who I worked with several years ago. He just returned from a trip to Afghanistan doing "certain" things.
arrrrRRRRROOOOOOOO!!!!! DOGGIE PING
Hard to beat a cold nose and warm heart
The faithfulness of dogs is unsurpassed. Man will stab you in the back, but a dog is faithful no matter what.
I am a school trained professional k-9 trainer for 26 years.
Nothing beats a wag and a smile.
When I saw they were in Smithtown, NY it rang a bell with me. My son had a guiding dog (a great Yellow Lab) that was trained there. "Mathew," was with him for 6 years, and then retired from guide service and came to live with me to rest after he became ill. He had saved my son from disaster when he was in college by keeping him from walking into a construction ravine on campus that he was not notified about. To accomplish this, Mathew practiced what they call "intelligent disobedience, " and blocked my son's way so he would not fall into the deep rut.
From the moment Mathew joined our family he displayed that he was not only a protector, and a pet, but another and very special soul. I still remember how Mathew greeted me daily by placing his head on my knee when I came in and sat down. He would just stand there, looking up at me and wagging his tail as though he were saying "Welcome home, now sit and relax!" He was the most loving, loyal, and comical dog we ever had who filled our house with his spirit and had everyone's admiration. When he passed, at 10, the entire neighborhood had a ceremony for him, he was simply remarkable, and has always been missed. No dog could have been better - no person more loyal.
Hearing that Guide Dogs for the Blind now trains America's VetDogs brought back all those memories, and I know that the military members who receive these dogs now have that wonderful relationship to look forward to with their dogs from this organization. What a worthwhile gift to give our men and women who are serving our country. America's VetDogs will get a donation from our family for sure!
Thank you & a bump!