Military Dog Suffers Post-Traumatic Stress from Service in Iraq

Thursday, August 05, 2010
Gina with Staff Sgt. Chris Kench (AP Photo: Ed Andriestski)

War doesn’t just change man, but man’s best friend as well.

After serving a five-month tour in Iraq, Gina, a four-year-old German shepherd, returned home a different dog. According to her handler, Gina was anti-social, reacted to virtually any loud noise and showed no interest in her work sniffing out drugs and bombs. The change may well have come about after a roadside bomb blew up behind the vehicle Gina was riding in.
“When Gina came back from [Iraq] she was so messed up, she didn’t want to see anybody,” Master Sergeant Eric Haynes, Gina’s handler, told Air Force News. “She wouldn’t walk through front doors, she didn’t want to go inside buildings. She was terrified of everything.” In June 2009, a military veterinarian at Peterson Air Force Base diagnosed Gina with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Since then, Gina has been undergoing rehabilitation to alleviate her symptoms. Although she is continuing to receive therapy, Gina was re-certified as a war dog on July 1 and assigned to domestic duty.
Military war dogs generally serve for ten years.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
PTSD a Problem for Man’s Best Friend (by Monica Mendoza, Air Force News)


Leave a comment