DynCorp International employees not only work in support of U.S. national security and foreign policy objectives all over the world, but are also making a difference in the communities where they live and work.
DI maintenance test pilot Bob Joffrion, along with his wife Liz, live the DI core values – We serve, We care, We empower, We perform and We do the right thing – in Kuwait. For more than five years they have contributed to the local community, including as volunteers with the American Red Cross. Third Army Commander Lieutenant General Brooks and 1st Theater Sustainment Commander Major General Dowd recently recognized Liz for her outstanding service to the U.S. Army community.
The Joffrions found a special way to make a contribution through their dogs, Apollo and Athena, who serve as therapy dogs. The Cairn terriers are certified by Therapy Dogs International and have the distinction of being the only dogs in the American Red Cross Therapy Dog Program in the Middle East.
As a team, they visit Camp Arifjan, where they visit the hospital, the Behavioral Health Clinic, and the American Red Cross Resiliency and Wellness Centers, which provide counseling and pet therapy. The canines are popular visitors who are able to relieve stress for soldiers coping with pre-deployment and redeployment.
Therapy Dogs International
Therapy dogs have popular for several decades, since the Therapy Dogs International (TDI) program started in New Jersey in 1976. They are now used around the world as four-legged ambassadors of hope. First used in nursing homes, therapy dogs showed an amazing ability to calm patients and bond with them. Currently, therapy dogs are used in disaster stress relief, such as after September 11, 2001, hospices, reading programs in schools and libraries and even in calming families as they lose loved ones. Therapy dogs are trained by TDI or other similar organizations.
Any breed and size of dog is welcome in the program, but the animals must have stable temperaments and work well with other dogs. When dog handlers, typically the owners, want to volunteer their pet, TDI tests the animal with their handler to see how the team reacts to stress. The Therapy Dog Program is one of the ways that Red Cross provides a link to home for soldiers serving in Kuwait.