9/11 rescuer and Iraq war veteran combats loneliness with feline battle buddy

Steven and Simon

When the World Trade Center collapsed on 9/11, Steven left his home in Chicago to join the rescue and recovery efforts at Ground Zero for three weeks, an experience that inspired him to enlist in the Army. But it was a four-legged, feline battle buddy that helped him combat the loneliness of his post-military life. While in the Army, Steven served as a Blackhawk crew chief for six years, and flew more than 1,000 hours over Iraq over the course of two deployments. Despite being twice deployed, his most memorable military experience occurred stateside. Following the 2010 mass shooting at … [Read more...]

Screaming Eagle promises homeless dog a “fulfilling life”

Josh and Panzer

Joshua is an Army combat veteran who served five years with the 101st Airborne, including a yearlong deployment to Iraq. He returned to an empty home that is now complete after adopting a homeless adult dog aching for a second chance at life. The former Screaming Eagle joined the Army out of high school. One of the most memorable moments of his military service when he was deployed to Iraq between February 2003 and February 2004. "We had an arms market in the area of Baghdad we were located. Every time we would patrol, the weapons would disappear," he explains. "So I had the idea to roll in, … [Read more...]

Abandoned dog “greatest cure” for Korean War veteran’s depression

Joseph and Mollie

An abandoned and abused Australian Shepherd mix named Mollie is credited as a "cure" for a Korean War veteran gripped by depression and the sudden loss of another beloved pet. Korea and the "Truman year" Joseph joined the Army in December 1947. After basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, he was sent to Camp Stoneman in Pittsburg, California, then stationed in U.S.-occupied South Korea between 1948 and 1949. When control of South Korea was turned over to the local government, Joseph was transferred to Schofield Barracks in Hawaii. Shortly after the Korean War broke out Joseph was sent back … [Read more...]

Vietnam veteran struggling with PTSD saved by death row dog

Ed and Sparkie

Ed is a Vietnam veteran and former Army Sergeant. After decades of coping with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and at the encouragement of his wife, he saved - and is saved by - an adult dog on death row. Thanks to our partnership with Macomb County Animal Shelter for helping us make Ed's story possible; this is his letter to us. I am retired. In 1967-69, I was in the US Army, and did a year in Viet Nam as a recon scout.  My year there gave me a lifetime full of bad memories and the stuff that nightmares are made of.  With a VA (Veterans Administration) rating of major PTSD, my life in … [Read more...]

Scruffy yet proud, shelter dog completes Army family

Yanira Christy and Mary Lou in DC

She sat and waited in the shelter, seeming to know all she needed was a new coiffure and a bath. Named Proud Mary by the staff, the scruffy little dog was patient and ready for a new life. She seemed to know her rescuers would come along soon. As luck would have it, she was about to join an Army family. That was the day Yanira and Christy walked into the shelter. An Army life Yanira is a former Army National Guardswoman and Army Reservist. She was raised in Puerto Rico, where in her culture a dog is a crucial part of the family. While serving our country, she often provided a safe and … [Read more...]

Navy nurse and shelter cat save each other

Karie and Pudge

Lonely and alone, a career Navy nurse found comfort with an adult shelter cat in need of a home, a friend and a second chance. “I was lonely and wanted a friend,” says Karie, “someone who loved me unconditionally and was happy to see me regardless of my day at work.” Call of duty prompts Karie to join the Navy Karie is an active duty Navy operating room nurse stationed in San Diego. She grew up as the child of a Navy Senior Chief and was married for ten years to an active duty enlisted Navy serviceman. “The Navy community is a small family that steps in to help a person out whenever … [Read more...]

After three deployments Army veteran a first time dog adopter

Marcus and Rocky

After three deployments with the Army, one veteran decided to fulfill a lifelong dream and become a first-time dog adopter. In turn, the dog he rescued from shelter life returned the favor by breathing new life into his blended family of five children and new wife. Marcus joined the United States Army in July 1996 and left active duty in 2001, returning to full-time duty with the National Guard in 2006. His most memorable time in service, however, was a once in a lifetime experience: “Coming home from Kosovo to watch my son be born.” During his more than eleven years of active duty, Marcus … [Read more...]

Navy sailor beats the blues with help of adult dog

Brandon and Maximus

They say if you want a best friend in politics, get a dog. One Navy sailor found the same to be true, with a twist: he saved an adult dog and, in the process, changed both of their lives forever. A dream and a dog Virginia Beach, Virginia is now where Brandon calls home while serving as a proud United States Navy Sailor stationed at Naval Station Norfolk, the world’s largest naval station. In March, 2011 Brandon set sail from his original hometown of Marion, Ohio to attend basic training at the U. S. Navy Great Lakes Training Command about 30 miles north of Chicago, Illinois, and then … [Read more...]

Retired Navy Yeoman finds honor in pet adoption

L.J. and Melinda (close up)

In 2000 and after twenty years’ service, Melinda retired from the U.S. Navy as a yeoman first class and found another calling: pet adoption. “It was a wonderful 20 years!" Melinda exclaims, "The people, the places, the opportunities – all terrific!” For the love of Navy...and dogs The Navy veteran collected many fond memories during her time in the military. Among her favorites are learning to live on her own away from parents, meeting her husband, living in Australia, working at the Pentagon and establishing new friendships over the years. Especially dear to Melinda’s heart was her … [Read more...]

Vietnam veteran dedicated to serve saves homeless dog

Steve and Chelsea smiling

For one Vietnam veteran, serving others is a way of life. And for the homeless dog he saved, she now has a new leash on life thanks to this kind-hearted man who dedicates himself to serve others: men, women, children and pets - with no distinction. Andy  the Bloodhound and the Vietnam legacy Steve served as a military policeman in the 615th MP Brigade in Vietnam. They were known as the Bloodhounds and their mascot was Andy the bloodhound. Andy played a big role in the lives of those soldiers living so far away from home. He was a much needed distraction from what was around them, and … [Read more...]

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