The soldier and the stray

Jeremy and Gannon

When Jeremy's dreams of a military career were cut short the Army veteran was in desperate need a companion. He found one in a once-stray dog who needed hope and a home as much as Jeremy needed a friend. "The greatest time of my life" In 2009, Jeremy joined the Army with "every intention to make it a career." Just 22 at the time, it had been a lifelong dream to serve his country and he believed that military service would be "the best thing" for him. The Army did not disappoint. "I have been all over the world and been to many different locations," he says, adding, "Greatest time of my … [Read more...]

Third generation soldier first time adopter and hero to senior dog

Andrew and Nikita edited

You could say the Army is in Andrew's DNA. The third generation soldier is a career National Guardsman, and recently became a first time pet adopter to a senior dog who needed a hero. Born to serve Andrew joined the Army National Guard during high school and completed basic training shortly after graduation. In 2012 he was deployed to Afghanistan and, since his return home in 2013, has been serving as an operations planner for the recruiting section. The career soldier followed his father and grandfather into military service.  “Twelve years now I’ve been Guard,” he explains. "I am third … [Read more...]

Combat veteran adapts to civilian life with second-chance Pit Bull pup

Chase (Montrell) and the girls_cropped

It was a tough decision for an Army combat veteran to bring a Pit Bull into his young family, but his decision to give the much-maligned breed a second chance paid off for all involved.  Army strong, Army proud One year after the 9/11 terror attacks Montrell joined the United States Army. It was September 2002 when he enlisted and was subsequently stationed at Fort Stewart, Georgia with the 3rd Infantry Division. Formed in 1917, the unit has become one of our nation's top military units for dealing with contingencies around the world. Early in 2003 Montrell arrived at Fort Stewart March … [Read more...]

From homeless to hopeful for Army veteran and abused dog

Desiree and Bullet 2

Desiree is an Army veteran who has triumphed over adversity more than once in her lifetime, including a time when she was homeless. Her inner strength and ability to persevere are qualities she shares with Bullet, an abused dog who chose the veteran above all others. A spontaneous decision Desiree calls her decision to join the Army one weekend in 1981 a “spontaneous decision.” She was 20 years old and “just wanted to get away and see the world.” This impromptu career move resulted in three years of Cold War-era service as an administrative specialist – or “glorified typist,” as Desiree … [Read more...]

Loss bonds grieving Army veteran and senior shelter cat

Jonathan and Tessa on floor_square

Jonathan can easily pinpoint the most difficult moment of his life: watching his 12 year-old cat Ziggy pass away in his arms. Despite his loss, the Army veteran was unwilling to let grief consume him. He made a decision to honor Ziggy's life by opening his heart to a senior shelter cat - a tortoiseshell beauty named Tessa. Army strong Jonathan joined the Army Reserves in February of 2005 in order to become an x-ray technologist. After undergoing Basic Training in Fort Knox, Kentucky, he completed his Advanced Individual Training (AIT) while serving at Fort Sam Houston, Texas and Fort … [Read more...]

Pit Bull dog in shelter for more than 450 days til Army war veteran brings him home

Patrick and Oliver

A Pit Bull dog who spent more than 450 days in a shelter, more than half of his life, is rescued by an Army war veteran coping with PTSD who found purpose in companion pets despite not being sure he was ready to care for them. Go ahead, kid; make my day Patrick enlisted in the Army to follow in the footsteps of his stepfather, uncle and grandfathers. “They served their country and I couldn’t think of a better way to honor their service than to sign up myself,” he says. “I can drive a variety of vehicles and was assigned to a postal unit overseas. I transported incoming mail throughout … [Read more...]

Little rescue dog gives Vietnam veteran “a reason to live”

Andrew and Scooby

Scooby is a little rescue dog with big paws to fill: curing the aching heart of a Vietnam veteran following the death of his senior dog.  For his entire life, Andrew has been a natural caretaker. He ministered to both of his parents during their final years, but after his 12 year-old Labradoodle died he did not think that he could care for another dog. Yet in time he was not just alone, but lonely - and knew that a companion pet would change his world for the better.  A man of peace during a time of war In 1962, Andrew enlisted in the U.S. Army and he served for three years as a … [Read more...]

Veteran who overcame personal odds adopts dog left to die in city street

Shawn and Crixus

Shawn is a dual Air Force and Army veteran who overcame tremendous personal odds in her life. It was perhaps not surprising when she adopted a dog named Crixus who was left to die by a heinous act of animal cruelty. This is their story. From high school dropout to Army officer I was a high school dropout and living on my own at the age of 15, when I was kicked out of my house by my step-father. I weathered the storm, got my GED and joined the military as soon as I could at age 18.  Thirty years have gone by and lots of life lessons, but throughout it all I've always had a great love for all … [Read more...]

Two veterans, two dogs, two miracle companion pet adoptions

Michael and Kara going home

Every life we touch through our work is a blessing. In the span of less than one week, two veterans adopted two dogs through two different shelter partners in two separate states. Yet all involved - pet and person -  needed the same thing: unconditional love. In the end, we had two miracle companion pet adoptions. Stray, abused dog lifts an Army veteran out of depression Michael is medically retired from the Army and now lives in Alabama. Like many veterans, he spent about one year after his discharge "not knowing what to do, not feeling comfortable." Admittedly he has a lot on his … [Read more...]

Bronze Star veteran shines with four-legged battle buddy by his side

Chris and Darla

After three combat tours in Iraq, a Bronze Star Army veteran becomes a hero of a different stripe: to an adult dog who would become his new battle buddy as he transitioned to civilian life. Inspired to service by Vietnam War POW During nearly a decade of service, Chris traveled the world. Originally from Oklahoma, the young Army veteran started his military career at Fort Carson, Colorado with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team (BCT), 4th Infantry Division (ID). Over the years he would deploy to the Middle East,  and serve in more than a dozen countries around the globe before finishing his … [Read more...]