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Chaplain and Man's Best Friend Team Up to Battle Stress

While many service members deal with stress of combat in a deployed environment, a chaplain and man's best friend at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan are teaming up to battle stress in a unique way. Produced by Staff Sgt. Miguel Lara. Includes soundbites from Air Force Capt. Keith Manry, chaplain, 455th Expeditionary Medical Operations Squadron and Private 1st Class George Anthony Litton, dog handler, 528th Medical Detachment.


No greater friend

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AFNS) -- "We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made," - M. Facklam.

For centuries, dogs have not only been the constant companions of humans but they have been utilized in day-to-day activities to assist their owners with tasks at hand. Today, many dogs serve in a capacity to facilitate in the mobility of those with limiting physical factors.

Service dogs can range from being a person's eyes, sensing a seizure or low blood sugar, to sniffing out improvised explosive devices on the battlefield.

For some of the Air Force's wounded warrior athletes, service dogs provide so much more than just physical assistance.


Army veteran Jeremiah Gaches

Disabled veterans face tough job market in Bay Area and beyond

11/11/2012 For Jeremiah Gaches, walking out his front door seemed like too much most days, let alone holding a job. A retired Army sergeant, Gaches was struggling in civilian life with the effects of a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.

"You're taught in the military to push through, to suck it up and keep moving forward," said Gaches, 35. "Asking for help is seen as a weakness, and it was so hard for me to ask."

Gaches eventually did ask, and for the past six months he has been working at a Veterans Affairs call center in Livermore with a service dog, Rocky, curled beneath his desk to keep his PTSD symptoms in check.

Gaches is one of more than 80 disabled veterans placed in jobs this year by the San Jose nonprofit Project Hired and its Wounded Warrior Workforce initiative. The organization is working with an additional 200 veterans to find employment in a 3-year-old program that has gone national.

Wounded Warrior Gets Help With Canine Wingman

10/16/2012 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) -- An Air Force wounded warrior has a new wingman helping him cope with his physical and mental pain, thanks to the "Train A Dog - Save A Warrior" program.