Grief counselors help after tragic air race crash

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Reno Stead Airport welcome sign

Reno Stead Airport welcome sign (AP photo)

RENO, Nev. (AP) – Mixed in with the hot-dog stands, souvenir T-shirt tents and barbecue pits is a different kind of booth this year behind the grandstand at the 49th annual National Championship Air Races in Reno.

Race organizers have contracted with a private firm for two grief counselors to provide help in the aftermath of last year’s deadly crash.

Race spokesman Mike Draper says they expect everyone will have a different emotional reaction to the tragedy. He says organizers wanted to be sure anyone who needs it will have someone to talk to.

Tim Maloney is a longtime race volunteer and pastor at a California church already has helped provide informal counseling to some fellow volunteers. He says those who kept their emotions bottled up are the most vulnerable.

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