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A stuffed duck, named "Sgt. Ducky," is operated on at the suture clinic for stuffed animals at Vilseck, Germany, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019.
A stuffed duck, named "Sgt. Ducky," is operated on at the suture clinic for stuffed animals at Vilseck, Germany, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
A stuffed duck, named "Sgt. Ducky," is operated on at the suture clinic for stuffed animals at Vilseck, Germany, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019.
A stuffed duck, named "Sgt. Ducky," is operated on at the suture clinic for stuffed animals at Vilseck, Germany, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
A stuffed bear's wound is displayed on the operating table at the teddy bear suture clinic in Vilseck, Germany, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. Army veterinary technicians at the clinic practiced stitching up wounds on all types of stuffed animals, not just teddy bears.
A stuffed bear's wound is displayed on the operating table at the teddy bear suture clinic in Vilseck, Germany, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. Army veterinary technicians at the clinic practiced stitching up wounds on all types of stuffed animals, not just teddy bears. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
Sgt. Toni Weaver, an animal care technician at Rose Barracks, operates on her patient, "Rainbow Kitty," at a clinic for stuffed animals in Vilseck, Germany, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019.
Sgt. Toni Weaver, an animal care technician at Rose Barracks, operates on her patient, "Rainbow Kitty," at a clinic for stuffed animals in Vilseck, Germany, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
''Patients'' wait in line at the teddy bear suture clinic in Vilseck, Germany, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. Army veterinary technicians at the clinic practiced stitching up wounds on all types of stuffed animals, not just teddy bears.
''Patients'' wait in line at the teddy bear suture clinic in Vilseck, Germany, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. Army veterinary technicians at the clinic practiced stitching up wounds on all types of stuffed animals, not just teddy bears. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
A group of stuffed animals wait to be operated on at the teddy bear suture clinic in Vilseck, Germany, where Army veterinary technicians practiced stitching up wounds on all types of stuffed animals, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019.
A group of stuffed animals wait to be operated on at the teddy bear suture clinic in Vilseck, Germany, where Army veterinary technicians practiced stitching up wounds on all types of stuffed animals, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)

VILSECK, Germany – Army veterinarians helped veterinary service personnel practice suturing techniques on stuffed animals this week in the second teddy bear suture clinic to be held here.

At least 16 soldiers from U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria participated in the exercise. They operated on several dozen stuffed animals that were brought in to the clinic, primarily by soldiers’ families.

Sewing up the toys provides valuable training in suturing, a skill they don’t often get to practice, said Sgt. Toni Weaver, one of the techs at the clinic.

“It’s always different when the patient is alive and moving around, but it’s still good to get hands-on experience like this,” Weaver said. “And the place looks really cute with these [stuffed animals] everywhere.”

After the success of the inaugural clinic last year, the exercise was expanded, with families from the Hohenfels and Ansbach military communities invited to bring their stuffed animals to Vilseck for care.

egnash.martin@stripes.com Twitter: @Marty_Stripes

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