Air Force couple and rescue dog make beautiful music together

Dan Lori and Cash

An Air Force husband-and-wife team traveled the world as military musicians, and are now singing a different tune with their first-ever rescue dog. This is their story, told in their own words. Hello! We are Dan and Lori from Omaha, Nebraska. We are both retired United States Air Force veterans who proudly served 26 and 21 years as musicians in the USAF military bands. Our careers took us all over the world performing music for our military members and civilian communities. It was an exciting part of our lives and we are grateful to have served our country in that capacity.  As you can … [Read more...]

Air Force veteran gives hope and final home to senior dog with cancer

Wendy and Bear

A senior dog with terminal cancer finds his final home with an Air Force veteran who is dedicated to providing a loving hospice to ailing, older dogs. This is the story of Wendy and Jonah, but is really a larger tale about compassion and love.   +++ Taking flight around the world with the U.S. Air Force I currently live in Ohio about an hour from where I grew up. I joined the Air Force, active duty, through the delayed enlistment program while a junior in high school. I left for basic training three weeks after graduation. After my four year tour I left active service and eventually made … [Read more...]

Vietnam veteran gives blind dog the gift of sight: another dog

Lady Gaga Sam Kenneth and Roxy on couch

Most of us know about guide dogs for blind people, but one Vietnam veteran adopted a companion pet to give the gift of sight to his blind dog. Funny-looking dog with a serious purpose Kenneth is a Vietnam War combat veteran who feels that he was selfish when he adopted a shelter dog named Sam I Am, a Jack Russell terrier mix “with a Mohawk.” In truth, Kenneth was the very opposite of selfish: he rescued Sam to help his partially blind Golden Retriever-Akita mix, Roxy, navigate her life. When Roxy’s two other canine companions died, Kenneth knew she needed another helper and friend. Sam is … [Read more...]

Shelter dog helps veteran manage PTSD and sobriety

Robin and Tucker

It took the healing powers of a shelter dog to help one Air Force veteran come to grips with her Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and aid her continuing sobriety. Robin is a Vietnam War Air Force veteran struggling with PTSD, an alcoholic with almost two years of sobriety and has put an abusive marriage behind her. For a time, she was so self-destructive that she became homeless. Ultimately, she was referred to HudVash, a nationwide Veterans Administration (VA) service that helps homeless veterans get back on their feet and into their own homes. Paying it forward Now independent and … [Read more...]

Air Force veteran saves pet as he grieves loss of another

Lee and Ace

An Air Force veteran saves a pet in need to cope with the loss of another: a dog he and his wife loved for 16 years. In so doing, he found renewed life with a second-chance dog named Ace. The ace up Lee’s sleeve In 1982, Lee joined the Air Force as a surgical assistant with the hopes of using his military training for an eventual civilian career. After five years of service during which time he earned the rank of Sergeant, Lee joined the Air Force reserves as an aeromedical specialist. During these years he completed his bachelors degree and received a commission as a Medical Service Corps … [Read more...]

Christmas story rings true for veteran and his dog

Ronald and Magai

The famed Christmas story about gift-bearing magi brings the Biblical tale to life for one veteran and his honorably adopted dog.  A Christmas far from home Ronald is a United States Air Force veteran. His military career spanned from 1976 til 1996, during which time he advanced from an Airman Basic, Aircraft Mechanic with the 514 MAW at McGuire AFB and ultimately separated from service with the rank of Captain. Currently he lives in Delaware and works as an anger coach and psychotherapist, serving clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania in addition to his home state. Of his many military … [Read more...]

Spirited cat wins heart of lonely Air Force veteran

Harry and Ed

A previously abused, but spirited cat finds his way into the heart and home of a lonely Air Force veteran. Not exactly a scene from When Harry Met Sally, but more like When Harry Met... Ed. Pets for Patriots member Ed was easily won over by Harry, a spirited Maine Coon, during their first meeting. Harry, on the other hand, took a little longer to come around. But in a patient and loving environment, the Air Force veteran who had served in Vietnam and elsewhere internationally, soon became the world to the homeless feline. Air Force veteran meets scaredy cat The veteran and his daughter … [Read more...]

The military working dog: America’s four-legged warrior

U.S. Air Force. Senior Airman Elizabeth Rissmiller.

The military working dog has long been part of America's fighting forces, though recent events have brought renewed public attention to these highly trained canines. This month marks the one year anniversary of SEAL Team Six’s raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan. Perhaps no single member of the elite commando team has generated more fascination than Cairo, a military working dog who accompanied the SEALs on this mission. A proud legacy of service For nearly a century, America’s military has put canines to work. During World War I, German and France trained an estimated 50,000 … [Read more...]

Marine fights to adopt disabled MWD and Iraq war partner

Megan and Rex

A Marine and a disabled MWD (military war dog) are in the fight of their lives: trying to spend their lives together  as friends after fighting side by side in Iraq. Now Megan Leavey and Rex have some power in their corner.  Influential New York State Senator Chuck Schumer has already written a letter to the secretary of the Air Force, which is responsible for all training and adoptions of MWDs at Lackland Air Force Base. We hope to do our part by creating more awareness of Megan's efforts to give Rex, her battle buddy and savior, the life he deserves in a loving home. Both suffered serious … [Read more...]

Abandonment unites airman and shelter dog

Ben and Siren

Veterans and service members who honorably adopt shelter pets through our program often speak about the empathy they have for their last-chance dog or cat. Many feel isolated, lonely and unwanted, and tell us how they can relate to the animals they ultimately save. Ben and Siren formed a strong bond through the abandonment they each experienced in their lives. Ben is a Staff Sargeant in the Air Force. Stationed at Langley Air Force Base (AFB) for six years, he works the stealth coatings for the F-22. Like many military personnel, Ben serves where the military needs him; throughout his career … [Read more...]