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Army Veterinary Corps brings K-9 care to Kunsan

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Shannon Braaten
  • 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea – Home to a small but mighty force of four-legged fighters, the 8th Security Forces Military Working Dog section houses the MWD’s who help defend the Wolf Pack. But what happens when these hard working pups get hurt or become ill?

Here at Kunsan, the Army Veterinary Corps provides vital support and care to MWD’s. Since joining the Wolf Pack in August, U.S. Army Capt. Denise Sorbet, 106th Medical Detachment Veterinary Service Support (MDVSS) Team II officer in charge, has taken a more intensive role in the care of the German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois that make up Kunsan’s MWD team.

“Kunsan houses the second largest kennel in the peninsula – it only makes sense to have a veterinary detachment on site to provide point of injury care for our four-legged warriors,” said Sorbet. “By moving down to Kunsan, we can provide better injury care for our MWD’s as well as integrate ourselves with the Kunsan AB community.”

Since the move, trainers at the 8th SFS MWD section have seen the benefits of more hands-on care and overall consistency in treatment.

“It's alleviating for the trainers to have the vet here,” said Staff Sgt. Darby Atkinson, 8th Security Forces Squadron military working dog trainer. “To be able to say hey, this is what's going on with the dogs and she's immediately here instead of driving two hours to Humphreys to get seen – It alleviates a lot of hardship. If a dog needs x-rays, emergency surgery or anything like that, it's all easier since she's here.”

In addition to providing care for the MWD’s, Sorbet and her team also conduct commercial audits and inspection of food facilities.

“Being a Veterinary Corps Officer is a multifaceted job and every day is different,” said Sorbet. “Our role is to execute service support that is essential for Force Health Protection. We maintain the health and welfare for military working animals (dogs and equine) and other personally owned animals as well as food protection and defense.”

Now fully integrated within Wolf Pack, Sorbet and her team work hand-in-hand with the MWD handlers toward their common goal.

“It is fulfilling being a veterinarian – giving voice to the voiceless,” Sorbet said. “I absolutely love my team and the handlers because we respect and value each role. I can say that my favorite part is when I see sick and debilitating animals regain their health. Seeing that tail wagging and knowing that I played a part in making that animal feel better – that feeling is indescribable.”