Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Military News

Howard Altman: MacDill enlists Khaos the Maltese to help sexual assault victims

TAMPA — He's just a small ball of fur, but Khaos is in training at MacDill Air Force Base to give strength to those who need it as the first therapy dog for victims of sexual assault in the military's Air Mobility Command.

When his therapy training is complete, the 10-month-old, white Maltese will provide therapeutic support to aid in the healing process for victims of sexual assault.

Base officials would not release statistics for sexual assaults at MacDill, but it's a problem throughout the military.

In 2015, according to the latest figures released by the Pentagon, 14,900 service members were sexually assaulted, which is 5,400 fewer than the 20,300 sexual assault victim reports estimated in 2014.

Khaos was purchased for the program from a breeder by 1st Lt. Diana Eldridge, the deputy sexual assault and response coordinator assigned to the 6th Air Mobility Wing, MacDill's host unit.

Khaos is the centerpiece of the Paw Support Program designed to break down barriers for victims of sexual assault who are considering seeking out help, Eldridge said. The little Maltese, who turns 1 around Halloween, is the first of its kind in the major Air Force command that oversees MacDill.

He is part of the awareness and treatment efforts offered through the base's office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response or SAPR.

Khaos has undergone obedience training provided free by Sit Means Sit, a North Pinellas dog training company. There, he learned basic obedience, advanced obedience and distraction avoidance.

For now, the dog is a roving ambassador for the SAPR office, Eldridge said, traveling the base to introduce the program. After his first birthday, Khaos and Eldridge, who will be his handler, will undergo therapy training. Once that is complete, Khaos can begin helping sexual assault victims.

Ultimately, Khaos will serve as both a therapy dog, helping sexual assault victims cope with the trauma of their experience, and an "an icebreaker," said Eldridge. Khaos will engage with sexual assault victims to break down barriers they might have toward seeking treatment.

"He is a small dog who provides a lot of comfort," Eldridge said. "He is hypoallergenic, and is very good with people."

•••

The Pentagon announced the death last week of a civilian who was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, the fight against the Islamic State.

GS-12 Daniel Hoadley, 54, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, died Aug. 18 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from a non-combat related incident. The incident is under investigation.

Hoadley was assigned to the Office of the Program Manager, Saudi Arabian National Guard Modernization Program, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

U.S. Navy and Marine Corps divers have recovered the remains of all 10 USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) sailors killed after an Aug. 21 collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC in waters east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.

The fallen sailors are:

Electronics Technician 1st Class Charles Nathan Findley, 31, from Kansas City, Missouri; Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Abraham Lopez, 39, from El Paso, Texas; Electronics Technician 2nd Class Kevin Sayer Bushell, 26, from Gaithersburg, Md; Electronics Technician 2nd Class Jacob Daniel Drake, 21, from Cable, Ohio; Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Timothy Thomas Eckels Jr., 23, from Manchester, Md; Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Corey George Ingram, 28, from Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; Electronics Technician 3rd Class Dustin Louis Doyon, 26, from Suffield, Conn.; Electronics Technician 3rd Class John Henry Hoagland III, 20, from Killeen, Texas; Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Logan Stephen Palmer, 23, from Decatur, Ill.; Electronics Technician 3rd Class and Kenneth Aaron Smith, 22, of Cherry Hill, N.J.

The incident is under investigation.

There have been 2,347 U.S. troop deaths in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan; 43 U.S. troop deaths and one civilian Department of Defense employee death in support of the follow-up, Operation Freedom's Sentinel in Afghanistan; 35 troop deaths and two civilian deaths in support of Operation Inherent Resolve; one troop death in support of Operation Odyssey Lightning, the fight against Islamic State in Libya; and one death under classified as "other contingency operations" in the global war on terrorism.

Contact Howard Altman at [email protected] or (813) 225-3112. Follow @haltman.

Comments
Iraqi interpreter who risked life helping U.S. troops fights for citizenship

Iraqi interpreter who risked life helping U.S. troops fights for citizenship

Haeder Alanbki, an Iraqi living in Orlando, applied to become a U.S. citizen in 2016. Given his years as an interpreter for U.S. forces in Iraq, he thought it would be a simple formality. But in a lawsuit he filed last month against the government, ...
Published: 07/16/18
The Air Force’s $10,000 toilet cover

The Air Force’s $10,000 toilet cover

To the Air Force, it’s a "cover-center wall, troop compartment latrine ... required to protect the aircraft from corrosion damage in the latrine area."To the rest of us, it’s a toilet cover. And until recently, it had a price tag of $10,000.Officials...
Published: 07/15/18
Veterans to break ground on Sun City Center memorial

Veterans to break ground on Sun City Center memorial

SUN CITY CENTER — Residents in this retirement community will celebrate the construction of a Veterans Memorial with a groundbreaking ceremony at 10 a.m. on July 17.The memorial will mark the first such tribute to the thousands of veterans who have l...
Published: 07/10/18
Updated: 07/13/18
Were veterans’ radiology tests wrongly canceled? VA includes Haley in national audit

Were veterans’ radiology tests wrongly canceled? VA includes Haley in national audit

TAMPA — Federal investigators are looking into allegations that officials at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital canceled hundreds of patient radiology exams without following safety guidelines and then tried to cover it up.The exams had been order...
Published: 07/09/18
Howard Altman: Hillsborough joins new national military suicide prevention effort

Howard Altman: Hillsborough joins new national military suicide prevention effort

Florida veterans have a significantly higher rate of taking their own lives compared to the national veteran suicide rate, according to the most recent data released by the Department of Veterans Affairs.But in Hillsborough County, that figure is far...
Published: 07/06/18
Trump’s counterterrorism pick is Joe Maguire of Tampa, now helping commando families

Trump’s counterterrorism pick is Joe Maguire of Tampa, now helping commando families

TAMPA — The intelligence leader who keeps tabs on terrorist threats and communicates them to the nation will be a retired vice admiral from Tampa, if President Donald Trump has his way.For the past five years, former Navy SEAL Joe Maguire has served ...
Published: 07/03/18
Updated: 07/04/18
Art2Action, The Bunker team to give veterans ‘Open Mic Night’

Art2Action, The Bunker team to give veterans ‘Open Mic Night’

YBOR CITY — With umbrellas piled in the corner as you walked into The Bunker, welcoming vibes mixed with the sweet aroma of coffee, hints of just-baked muffins and cookies, and a few kind hellos from the staff.The seats, plush and cushioned, are pull...
Published: 06/28/18
Updated: 07/04/18
New chief calls MacDill ‘crown jewel’ of Air Force’s mobility command

New chief calls MacDill ‘crown jewel’ of Air Force’s mobility command

TAMPA — Air Force Col. Stephen Snelson, the new leader of the host command at MacDill Air Force Base, called his new assignment a career pinnacle as he took over the 6th Air Mobility Wing at a ceremony Friday."MacDill Air Force Base is the crown jewe...
Updated one month ago
Howard Altman: Three Tampa firms win rights to bid on $2.4 billion Army contract

Howard Altman: Three Tampa firms win rights to bid on $2.4 billion Army contract

In a move that could mean more high-paying defense contracting jobs for the Tampa area, three local firms have been awarded the rights to bid on work through a $2.4 billion Army contract.Calhoun International and a combined effort by two other Tampa ...
Updated one month ago
Writer resigns from ‘New Yorker’ after twitter flap over Pasco Marine’s tattoo

Writer resigns from ‘New Yorker’ after twitter flap over Pasco Marine’s tattoo

Talia Lavin, whose tweet about a Pasco veteran’s tattoo implied he was a Nazi, has apologized to him and resigned from her position as a fact-checker at the New Yorker magazine.But in another tweet, Thursday evening, Lavin also lashed out at the fede...
Updated one month ago