‘Therapy Dogs’ Help Relieve Stress for Families

By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service

ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 11, 2001 — “Wow”! “Look at the dogs!” Melvina Brown, 5, exclaimed as she rushed to pet a “therapy dog” at DoD’s Family (Casualty) Assistance Center here. Her little brother, Robert Russell III, 2, eagerly followed.

Later, Kelli Lynch, 2, stunned her father by petting the dogs.

“I didn’t realize what they were here for until my daughter started playing with them,” said Paul Lynch of Waldorf, Md. “She doesn’t have a dog. She’s actually terrified of them, so it’s surprising that she’s playing with these dogs.” Tears started streaming down his cheeks.

“My father has two dogs at the house, and anytime either one of them makes a move toward her, she turns around and runs and screams and cries. But she’s petting these dogs right now,” Lynch said.

His father, James Lynch, was a civilian employee in the Navy Command Center at the Pentagon. His office was in the direct path of the hijacked airliner that crashed into the building on Sept. 11.

The therapy dogs, a variety of breeds, gave tail-wagging greetings to anyone who entered their space. The four- footed therapists are part of Therapy Dogs International Inc., a volunteer organization that provides qualified handlers and their dogs for visits to hospitals, nursing homes and other places where the dogs might help make residents and patients smile.

Group officials pointed out researchers have clinically proven that petting, touching and talking to the animals lowers patients’ blood pressure, relieves stress and eases depression.

“We’re here at the family assistance center for the families, volunteers, staff, military, security — everybody,” said Sue Peetoom of Fredericksburg, Va., chairwoman of the group’s local chapter, Spirit keepers. “We have our dogs available at any time to be petted and hugged for comfort for the families to remember the pets they’ve left at home while they’re here.”

“The dogs are like a magnet, people are just drawn to them,” said Peetoom’s husband, Lee. “A lot of families, counselors, clergy and other members of support groups stopped by to pet the dogs. We also took them to the kids rooms where children were kept while the parents were taking care of business.”

“We were asked to come here because we have a chapter in Oklahoma City that helped people dealing with the disaster there,” Sue Peetoom said.

Certified therapy dogs must be trained, tested and evaluated before they’re allowed into action, she noted.

“They must be ‘bombproof,'” she said. “That is, they can’t react adversely to any situation. They have to be able to be pulled, prodded, hugged, in large crowds, loud noises. They have to be able to deal with anything that happens to them. We have dogs of all shapes, sizes, breeds — and mixed breeds. The only requirement is that they have to be a year old and have excellent temperaments, love people and get along with other dogs, because we’re always in groups.”

They’re all family pets of the people on the other end of the leash, she noted.

A steady stream of people visit the dogs every day, Peetoom said. “We have dogs in the lobby, upstairs, in the children’s room. The dogs are not only for the families, though. Everybody working here is stressed as well, and they’re coming by just for a minute or to smile, touch the dogs, decompress and go back to work.”

Doggie Therapy
Robert Russell III and Melvina Brown had a ball playing with the therapy dogs at DoD’s Family (Casualty) Assistance Center in Arlington, Virginia.
Photo by Rudi Williams.

What are Humanitarian Daily Rations?

Humanitarian Daily Rations - 2001

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 2001 — In addition to attacking the Taliban regime and terrorist facilities in Afghanistan today, U.S. air operations include the delivery of some 37,000 Humanitarian Daily Rations to Afghan refugees.

The daily ration was specifically designed by the Defense Department for use in emergencies to feed and sustain moderately malnourished people until more traditional feeding methods are restored.

The meals are nutritious, culturally sensitive and cost- effective and have been praised by the United Nations and the international relief community. Since their first use in 1993, they have emerged as a significant and lasting contributor to the fight against hunger.

The rations are pre-packaged, ready-to-eat foods that provide an entire day’s nutritional requirements. Each ration packet contains two main vegetarian meals based heavily on lentils, beans and rice, and also complementary items like bread, a fruit bar, a fortified biscuit, peanut butter and spices. Beans with tomatoes, beans and rice, and bean salad are entrees among the five available menus.

Humanitarian rations come in bright yellow packaging for easy identification on the ground when air-dropped. They “float” down to populations with no parachutes. The packets are marked with the words, “A Food Gift From the People of the United States of America,” and include illustrations depicting how to eat the foods.

Providing about 2,200 calories, each ration packet costs about $4 and has a shelf life of 18 to 24 months.

Hundreds of thousands of the rations were first air-dropped over isolated Bosnian enclaves on Nov. 22, 1993, as part of the humanitarian relief effort Operation Provide Promise. Since then, more than 8 million of the rations have been distributed to refugees worldwide, including in Iraq, Cuba, Bosnia, Rwanda and Haiti.

A typical Humanitarian Daily Ration packet. The yellow, plastic pack is designed to “float” to the ground once dropped by transport aircraft. The packet contains meals that can be eaten by virtually anyone, regardless of culture or religion. The United States began delivering 37,000 rations to Afghan refugees Oct. 7, 2001.

— American Forces Press Service

Strikes Against Afghanistan Begin

Constantly updated war news:
The Whitehouse
Dept. of Defense Press Releases

Statement by the President
The Treaty Room
October 7, 2001 – 1:00 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon. On my orders, the United States military has begun strikes against al Qaeda terrorist training camps and military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. These carefully targeted actions are designed to disrupt the use of Afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations, and to attack the military capability of the Taliban regime.We are joined in this operation by our staunch friend, Great Britain. Other close friends, including Canada, Australia, Germany and France, have pledged forces as the operation unfolds. More than 40 countries in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and across Asia have granted air transit or landing rights. Many more have shared intelligence. We are supported by the collective will of the world.

More than two weeks ago, I gave Taliban leaders a series of clear and specific demands: Close terrorist training camps; hand over leaders of the al Qaeda network; and return all foreign nationals, including American citizens, unjustly detained in your country. None of these demands were met. And now the Taliban will pay a price. By destroying camps and disrupting communications, we will make it more difficult for the terror network to train new recruits and coordinate their evil plans.

Initially, the terrorists may burrow deeper into caves and other entrenched hiding places. Our military action is also designed to clear the way for sustained, comprehensive and relentless operations to drive them out and bring them to justice.

At the same time, the oppressed people of Afghanistan will know the generosity of America and our allies. As we strike military targets, we’ll also drop food, medicine and supplies to the starving and suffering men and women and children of Afghanistan.

The United States of America is a friend to the Afghan people, and we are the friends of almost a billion worldwide who practice the Islamic faith. The United States of America is an enemy of those who aid terrorists and of the barbaric criminals who profane a great religion by committing murder in its name.

This military action is a part of our campaign against terrorism, another front in a war that has already been joined through diplomacy, intelligence, the freezing of financial assets and the arrests of known terrorists by law enforcement agents in 38 countries. Given the nature and reach of our enemies, we will win this conflict by the patient accumulation of successes, by meeting a series of challenges with determination and will and purpose.

Today we focus on Afghanistan, but the battle is broader. Every nation has a choice to make. In this conflict, there is no neutral ground. If any government sponsors the outlaws and killers of innocents, they have become outlaws and murderers, themselves. And they will take that lonely path at their own peril.

I’m speaking to you today from the Treaty Room of the White House, a place where American Presidents have worked for peace. We’re a peaceful nation. Yet, as we have learned, so suddenly and so tragically, there can be no peace in a world of sudden terror. In the face of today’s new threat, the only way to pursue peace is to pursue those who threaten it.

We did not ask for this mission, but we will fulfill it. The name of today’s military operation is Enduring Freedom. We defend not only our precious freedoms, but also the freedom of people everywhere to live and raise their children free from fear.

I know many Americans feel fear today. And our government is taking strong precautions. All law enforcement and intelligence agencies are working aggressively around America, around the world and around the clock. At my request, many governors have activated the National Guard to strengthen airport security. We have called up Reserves to reinforce our military capability and strengthen the protection of our homeland.

In the months ahead, our patience will be one of our strengths — patience with the long waits that will result from tighter security; patience and understanding that it will take time to achieve our goals; patience in all the sacrifices that may come.

Today, those sacrifices are being made by members of our Armed Forces who now defend us so far from home, and by their proud and worried families. A Commander-in-Chief sends America’s sons and daughters into a battle in a foreign land only after the greatest care and a lot of prayer. We ask a lot of those who wear our uniform. We ask them to leave their loved ones, to travel great distances, to risk injury, even to be prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice of their lives. They are dedicated, they are honorable; they represent the best of our country. And we are grateful.

To all the men and women in our military — every sailor, every soldier, every airman, every coastguardsman, every Marine — I say this: Your mission is defined; your objectives are clear; your goal is just. You have my full confidence, and you will have every tool you need to carry out your duty.

I recently received a touching letter that says a lot about the state of America in these difficult times — a letter from a 4th-grade girl, with a father in the military: “As much as I don’t want my Dad to fight,” she wrote, “I’m willing to give him to you.”

This is a precious gift, the greatest she could give. This young girl knows what America is all about. Since September 11, an entire generation of young Americans has gained new understanding of the value of freedom, and its cost in duty and in sacrifice.

The battle is now joined on many fronts. We will not waver; we will not tire; we will not falter; and we will not fail. Peace and freedom will prevail.

Thank you. May God continue to bless America.


Smoke Continues to Drift Into Happy Camp

October 4, 2001 – The Swillup Fire, the largest, most persistent and last active fire of the 47 fires of the Happy Camp Complex is finally close to 100% containment. After a full week of aggressive, but unsuccessful direct attack, firefighters backed off to existing fire lines and roads along a system of ridges surrounding the fire and began backfiring. The backfiring was completed successfully, and all lines are holding. The backfire continues to move slowly down the slopes towards the main fire in the northeast portion of the Swillup Creek watershed. While most of the 1,200 firefighters have returned to their homes, a force of over 200 remain to complete work on the fire.

Crawford Fire - 2001Fire crews continue to snuff out burning fuels around the 21-mile perimeter of the Swillup Fire, while the remaining fuels in the middle of the 8,300-acre fire area continue to actively burn. Over the course of the last few days, westerly winds have been moving smoke into portions of the Klamath, Scott, and Salmon River Valleys. According to Happy Camp District Ranger Michael Condon, “The smoky conditions are likely to persist for several days. Afternoon winds will increase fire activity over the next few days, as the fire continues to burn on the east side of Swillup Creek. Even though most of the firefighters have returned home, we have more than enough firefighters still assigned to the fire to keep the fire contained while mop-up continues.”

Condon would also like to remind the public the road closures established within the vicinity of the Swillup Fire on September 19 remain in effect. Those roads are being used as fire lines in some places. Road closures continue to be necessary in order to ensure public and firefighter safety for as long as suppression and rehabilitation work continues in the fire area.

— U.S. Forest Service Press Release

Dr. Akinlade, We Will Miss You!

Dr. Akinlade

After three years service to Happy Campers in medical need, Dr. Akinlade and his family have left the area. Dr. Akinlade said they plan to travel for a time, then find work and settle down closer to the East Coast.

We have fond memories of his participation in our community and will miss seeing him here. The Happy Camp Health Clinic will continue to operate with nurse practitioners in October, and a temporary doctor will help starting in November while a permanent doctor is being hired.

Chamber of Commerce Requests Website Proposals

The Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce wants a new website, and is currently seeking proposals from any interested individuals having experience in website development. They are looking for creativity from those interested regarding website content, and understand that website hosting and future modifications would be additional to the original design contract.

The Chamber is willing to pay up to $200.00 for the website. The deadline for proposals is October 31,2001 at 1:00 pm at the Chamber of Commerce meeting, which will be at the Family Resource Center on 2nd St. in Happy Camp.

Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 1188
Happy Camp, CA 96039
(530) 493-2900


We are looking for proposals from interested parties for the purpose of putting together a Web-Site for the Chamber.

This request is open to any interested individuals who have experience in web-site development. The Chamber is willing to pay up to $200.00 (Two Hundred Dollars) for the web-site, and we are looking for creativity from those interested as to how many pages and what might be in the web-site. This request for proposals is essentially wide-open to allow for any ideas and creativity that might come forward. The Chamber understands that hosting of the web-site and future alterations, changes or modifications would be additional to the original design contract.

Interested persons should put together their proposals including what they would agree to include in the web-site, number of pages or MB of projected information, what changes might be allowed, and additionally if the person or entity could host the site, for what cost, including changes on a periodic basis.

Proposals should be forwarded to the Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce at the above address, or brought to a Chamber meeting. Deadline for proposals is October 31st at the Chamber meeting at 1:00 p.m. The meeting will be at the Family Resource Center (former Headway Market) on 2nd Street.

Any additional information or questions may be directed to the Chamber, above, or Eddie Davenport, President, at 493-2208.

1 120 121 122 123 124 130