Canine Aids Medical Detachment Combat Stress Unit
Many soldiers serving overseas become detached, and remote. It is difficult to remain aloof when you have a Sergeant First Class running around and licking your face though.
Canine Army Sergeant 1st Class Boe is one of the newest members of the 85th Medical Detachment Stress Combat Control Unit. This specialized unit operates out of COB Speicher, and uses one of two canine type therapies being currently tried out by the Army. The troops love having the dog around, and it helps reduce the stress immensely.
Staff Sgt Mike Calaway is a therapy occupational assistant with the Combat unit Stress unit. Sgt Boe, the canine Sgt, is part of a program that is new in the Army, which helps soldiers interact with Dogs to help eliminate and reduce stress and psychological stresses of combat.
The first two dogs in the program were Labrador Retrievers, trained and donated by Vetdogs of America. Vetdogs of America is part of the larger Guide Dogs for the Blind Foundation, which has helped people with dogs since the 1940’s.
Vetdogs recently expanded their program to include concepts of therapy, whether it is a few minutes with quiet petting or an active game of fetch.
After spending a few minutes with her I feel very relaxed” said Sgt First Class Brenda Rich. Sgt Rich is with Medical Operations, 101st Airborne Division. It was just me and the dog for a while and nothing else mattered Calaway spent time in New York City training with the dog, Boe, and the two have developed a bond. The pair was then sent to Iraq to help soldiers in the field.