Meet Col. Milburn and facility therapy dog Thresa
Stress is the body’s response to any demand, and for the military personnel at MacDill Air Force Base, stress is a daily battle. U.S. Marine Corps. Colonel Andrew Milburn, Chief of Staff for MacDill’s Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT), now has a new stress-reduction aid for his unit: an extremely friendly and eager-to-please yellow Lab named Thresa, a facility therapy dog recently “deployed” to MacDill.
With 29 years of service including nine deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, South America, Africa, South West Asia, and Eastern Europe, Col. Milburn understands the unique demands on the SOCCENT personnel. This organization provides “fully capable Special Operations Forces to defend the United States and its interests and plan and synchronize operations against terrorist networks.”
“Having a facility therapy dog is a great opportunity to bring a warm and pleasing presence into the workplace in an environment with a high work tempo,” says Col. Milburn. “Thresa rotates throughout the shops visiting personnel and spreading her kind and positive energy. She has already had a positive impact on unit morale.”
At the end of each workday, Thresa heads home to her new family, which include pets Oscar and Fergie, the family dog and cat, and two children, Marcus and Sophia. “Thresa fits in perfectly in the house, even with a cat who can be particular,” says Col. Milburn. “We are very pleased with Thresa. She is a well-trained dog with a wonderful personality.”