Military Working Dogs Not Immune from Post-traumatic Stress

The Air Force is finding that its military working dogs, which are integral to saving lives on the front lines, can suffer long-term like humans from traumatic events in combat. Take Gina, for example, a four-year-old German Sheppard with the 21st Security Forces Squadron at Peterson AFB, Colo. During a recent five-month tour in Southwest Asia, Gina was frequently exposed to intense sounds and sights, including an improvised explosive device going off near her. When she returned, Gina was “messed up” and “terrified of everything,” explained MSgt. Eric Haynes, one of her handlers. He began a long process of rehabilitating her. The work has paid off. On July 1, Gina was re-certified to continue working as a MWD, but she probably won’t deploy to a frontline base for at least another two years, said Haynes. (Peterson report by Monica Mendoza)