September 25, 2008 at 1:03 p.m.

Army Spec. Ashley Corcoran helps with Democratic Convention

Army Spec. Ashley Corcoran helps with Democratic Convention
Army Spec. Ashley Corcoran helps with Democratic Convention

By By Michael Tolzmann-

DENVER - As Barack Obama stood center stage here to accept his party's nomination, the soldier daughter of a Stewartville couple stood quietly in the shadows, far away from the spotlights and cameras that focused on the candidate and his supporters.

Army Spec. Ashley Corcoran, daughter of Roger and Kay Corcoran, Fifth Street NE, Stewartville, and more than 1,000 service members were gathered here, not as political revelers, but as experts with special capabilities to support the Secret Service, FBI and law-enforcement officials in providing a safe and secure environment for the Democratic National Convention.

Corcoran is an animal care specialist with the Rocky Mountain District Veterinary Command at Fort Carson, Col. Her efforts here helped this event take place without interruption.

"We're providing veterinary support and care to the canine teams of the Secret Service, Department of Defense and Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. We assure the animals are healthy and fit for duty and also treat them in cases of emergency," said Corcoran, a 2005 graduate of Stewartville High School. She went on to earn an associate degree in 2007 from Rochester Community and Technical College.

American military service members, such as Corcoran, are sworn to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and take their orders from the president or their governor, and senior-ranking officers. Professionally they are apolitical, but Corcoran realized why her military contribution to this political convention was important.

"We're keeping the canines healthy so they can do their job of keeping everyone at the event safe," said Corcoran.

A special military organization was formed here with personnel from the active-duty ranks, reservists and National Guardsmen. Named the Joint Task Force - Democratic National Convention, this military organization was not in charge of security operations, but aided federal and local agencies.

Some military members brought special capabilities the civil authorities either didn't have or didn't have enough of for the event.

Military specialties such as search "bomb dogs," chemical, biological or radiological specialists, firemen, military policemen, and soldiers trained in riot control all helped the other federal agencies in accomplishing the security needs for this large-scale political convention.

Working as a military member on the streets of a major American city in support of other federal agencies, Corcoran believes this experience will leave a lasting impression.

"This event has been very hectic, but exciting. It's been a great experience of teamwork, problem solving and field medicine. There is a huge amount of organization and precautions that have to take place," said Corcoran.

Although Corcoran was well suited for this special assignment, she has a traditional military background.

"I have been in the military for about a year. I have not been to a war zone yet, but it is a possibility in the future. I plan on furthering my education and working in the field of animal medicine," said Corcoran.

Although the cameras and spotlights have moved on with the candidate, Corcoran will continue with her traditional military duties and responsibilities, while remembering the moment she helped a man who could be president.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024



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