NEWS | Sept. 10, 2013

Airmen build swing set for deployed Wingman's daughter

By Senior Airman Tom Brading Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Dog handlers from the 628th Security Forces Squadron volunteered their time Sept. 6, 2013, to lend a helping hand to the family of one of their own.

Staff Sgt. Kyle Shaughnessy, 628th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, bought his 2-year old daughter Isabella, a swing-set "fit for a princess."
However, there was only one problem; Shaughnessy deployed to Southwest Asia with his four-legged Wingman, Jaga before he could assemble it.

When Staff Sgt. Jonathan Calo, 628th SFS military working dog handler, heard the Shaughnessy family had a swing-set but no one to put it together, he decided something needed to be done.

"We're a very close-knit squadron," said Calo. "When one of us deploys, we take care of each other's family like they're our own."

So, in accordance with the Trident United Way's Day of Caring events occurring throughout Joint Base Charleston, where approximately 2,500 service members from the base volunteered their skills to assist with more than 50 projects in the local community, the dog handlers decided to help one of their own.

"Even though it was a designated day for caring and volunteering, that's not why we are helping our Wingman and his family," said Tech. Sgt. Heath Hinton, 628th SFS military working dog kennel master. "Military families already take on many challenges that accompany deployments, so it means a lot to us to help take some of that stress away, especially for Isabella."

The dog handlers spent the entire day reading directions, working together and building the swing set for Isabella, and even though the weather did not cooperate, they managed to finish the job.

"Sgt. Shaughnessy would've done the same thing for any of our families," said Calo. "So hopefully while he is overseas, and he's thinking about his family back home, he can rest assured in knowing they'll be taken care of until he returns."