Both abandoned, combat veteran and rescue dog save each other

Will and Shae

A two-tour Army combat veteran who lost everything when his wife abandoned him reclaims his life with the help of a rescue dog desperate for a second chance. Injured in service and abandoned at home In 2005, Will enlisted in the National Guard and deployed to Kosovo in June of 2006 on a peacekeeping mission. Three years later he was deployed to Afghanistan where - as part of an infantry division out of Massachusetts - he connected with some of the same soldiers he served with in Kosovo. During his Afghanistan tour and while descending a fuel truck ladder, Will injured his back when the … [Read more...]

Adult shelter dog a “light of life” for Army veteran and his wife

George and Ruxin

Ruxin was an adult shelter dog like so many others, wanting nothing more than a secure life in a loving home. In 2013, just before Christmas, the shelter dog got his wish: an Army veteran and his wife - still reeling from the loss of their beloved dog - were smitten by this two year-old Beagle mix. The rest, as they say, is history. In 2005, George retired, many years after his service in the Army Finance Unit. He was drafted in 1958 and recalls one of his most memorable times in the military, when he was serving in Budingen, Germany. "While there I was able to visit with my parents' … [Read more...]

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 Fort … [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...]

Mission accomplished: Army officer gives abandoned dog new leash on life

John and Izzie

It's mission accomplished for an Army Lieutenant Colonel whose compassion and sense of duty led him to give an abandoned dog a second chance at life. Izzie was found in an apartment without food, water or family, and spent nearly four months in the care of our partners at the Washington Humane Society. Despite attending numerous adoption events, no one took an interest in her until an Army officer saw what no one else could see. This is their story. +++ A storied Army career I initially began my military service as a junior in high school by enlisting into the New Hampshire Army National … [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...]

Sight unseen, Reservist adopts one-eyed cat

George and Tycho

Sometimes love at first sight happens sight unseen; this is the case with an Army Reservist and a one-eyed cat named Tycho. George has served in the military for more than 20 years and is currently in the Reserves. In May 2013, he adopted a kitten with an infected eye that required surgical removal, but what makes this story even more remarkable is that George made a commitment to save this cat before the two ever met.  The Army Reservist is assigned to the 416 Theater Engineer Command (TEC) in Darien, Illinois, a two-star division level command in charge of over 13,000 Army Reserve … [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...]

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...]