Taking a "paws" for resiliency

  • Published
  • By Jason Minto
  • Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations

The Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations resiliency team coordinated a visit with K-9's from the Tri-State Canine Response Team, Feb. 7, to meet and interact with personnel assigned to the mortuary. 

The mission of Response Team is to comfort, support and enhance the quality of life of those who are suffering from a personal condition or community crisis by using the human/canine bond and its power to heal.  The dogs trained specialize in providing safe spaces for individuals to grieve as well as providing a safe space to process difficult emotions like anger, grief and bereavement.  The women who own the dogs are skilled in psychological first response care and suicide prevention. 

In addition to visiting units on military bases, the dogs also go to elderly homes, hospitals, schools and high stress environments.  The purpose of their visit here was for the staff to learn more about tools that can be used to process strong emotions and how animals can help provide comfort as well as connection through this community outreach effort.