Story by Lance Cpl. Grace Waladkewics
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. - SGT. HEATHER AGUAS
Job Title: Animal Care Non-Commissioned Officer
Unit: Cherry Point Veterinary Treatment Facility
Hometown: Priest River, Idaho
Date Joined: JAN. 2, 2003
Army Sgt. Heather Aguas, an animal care non-commissioned officer at the Cherry Point Veterinary Treatment Facility, is responsible for ensuring all military working dogs and household pets are medically sound and physically fit.
“It is my job to take care of a total of 18 military working dogs between Cherry Point and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base,” said Aguas. “I get them ready for deployments, special tasking and secret service missions.”
The Priest River, Idaho, native enlisted after attending college for pre-veterinary medicine at North Idaho College and the University of Maryland.
Her passion for animal care and her great uncle, a dog handler in the Air Force, inspired and paved her path toward becoming the animal caregiver she is today.
The VTF provides X-rays, dental examinations and special procedures for military working dogs, said Aguas. The facility also provides services to pets within the military community like vaccinations, sick-call and minor surgeries.
“My job is important because military working dogs provide safety to our bases, down range to our troops, family members and children,” said Aguas. “Pets are part of our family.”