Assignment Afghanistan: Beating Stress with Talks and a Dog

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BAGRAM, AFGHANISTAN News 3's Steve Fullhart and Rachel Cox from KWTX News 10 in Waco are on assignment covering Texans serving in Afghanistan.

Last year, the Army says about one soldier died a day after committing suicide. That's more than the number of soldiers who died in combat in Afghanistan. But there's a specialized unit offering help to service members in need, and they've got man's best friend on their team.

When it comes to protecting a base and its soldiers, being hard-nosed probably helps. When it comes to protecting one's sanity, a wet nose and soft fur definitely does for many.

Eden holds the rank of major, and holds the title of combat stress animal assistance dog. She's the only American service canine that's in Afghanistan with the purpose of providing comfort.

The 98th Combat Stress Control Detachment out of Washington State sends trained mental health professionals to deployed soldiers and provides one-on-one assistance or group seminars like this one for Army reservists out of Pennsylvania, explaining options on a heavy subject with a light touch.