Army family finds joy in second chance cat

Martin and Heart

It was an adopted second chance cat that helped an Army veteran and family man keep a promise to his young daughter. The commitment Martin is an Army veteran who lives in Shelby Township, Michigan with his wife, an Army recruiter, and their six year-old daughter. He is currently a police training officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital in Detroit. For years, Martin’s daughter had begged her parents for a kitten. However, with two family dogs – a Yellow Labrador and a Beagle-Jack Russell Terrier mix – Martin and his wife felt they already had enough to handle, and promised … [Read more...]

Rescue dog steals hearts of career Army family

Stormy Muchacho and family

A rescued Chihuahua dog named Muchacho lived up to his name: rambunctious, demanding attention, and stealing the hearts of a career Army soldier and her two children. Stormy, still serving in the Army, tells her family's story. +++ I am currently serving on active duty for the US Army. I am assigned to Fort Meade, Maryland's Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center. I am a mother of two amazing children: 14 year-old Easton and Kaitlyn, who is 10. I have been serving in the  Army for 16 years as a radiology specialist. I entered the Army upon graduating from college at Western Illinois University … [Read more...]

Veteran of WWII and Korea is hero to shelter dog

A.T. Gator and Wanda

Drafted at age 17 to serve in World War II and conscripted again years later to fight in the Korean Conflict, A.T. has always considered himself very fortunate. Now 88 years old, the Army veteran is hero to Gator, a rescued shelter dog, with whom he shares life’s many blessings. WWII veteran pressed into service once more in Korea Prior to his first tour of service in 1942, A.T. married. He and his wife, Wanda, have since enjoyed “71 wonderful years together.” The newlyweds' time together was cut short by WWII when A.T., an Arkansas native, was assigned to the 8th Army and shipped out to … [Read more...]

Rescued cat heals the soul of Desert Storm veteran

Erik and Brazil smiling

One rescued tabby cat returned the favor of being saved by healing the soul of the disabled Desert Storm veteran who adopted her.  Desert Storm takes its toll For more than two years, Erik served as a 13M Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) launcher driver with B 1/27 FA in Babenhausen, Germany. In December 1990, he was deployed to the Gulf where he fought in Desert Storm, returning to Germany nearly eight months later.  While one of the more positive, memorable experiences from his time in the service was witnessing the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Desert Storm veteran holds other … [Read more...]

Military family on the brink united by a rescue dog

Jose and Lily

For one military family, it took the love of a rescue dog named Lily to bring them back from the brink, and ease the strains of deployment, financial hardship and depression. Deployments to Iraq strain a family left behind In 1994, Jose was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army Reserve. He was soon appointed as Platoon Leader with the 699th Engineering Company in Puerto Rico, a natural fit for his B.S. in civil engineering, and six years later became the Company's Executive Officer. The following year and for the next two, Jose was relocated and served as staff officer with the … [Read more...]

After a life in shelters, dog rescues Army veteran with PTSD

Anna and Duke

Duke lived in animal shelters for much of his young life until he had an opportunity of a lifetime: rescue an Army veteran haunted by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The big, Labrador/Great Dane mix languished at a Colorado humane society before being transferred to a local rescue, never having a family or home of his own for the first two years of his life. Each day, he would sit idly by as other homeless animals were adopted and he was left behind. Little did big Duke know that one day in January his fate would be forever bound with an Army veteran searching for relief from her … [Read more...]

Vietnam veteran saves death row dog

Roger and Sugar Bear

Long after serving in the Army during the Vietnam War, a quiet, unassuming veteran became a hero to a death row dog. From 1961-1964, Roger served in the 25th infantry division in Hawaii in preparation to deploy to Vietnam. He was discharged before his division was sent overseas, and used his time in Hawaii to travel and marry. Eventually he and his bride left for the mainland, where Roger worked for a time as a military training instructor in Indianapolis. Unlike his fiery, Colombian wife, Jacquie, Roger is a soft spoken man, but the pair is identical in one respect: their love of dogs. The … [Read more...]

Healing at both ends of the leash for combat veteran and shelter dog

Vaughan Annie and Max

Companion pet adoption can offer much-needed healing, at both ends of the leash, for veterans coping with the invisible wounds of combat as well as for the pets they save. This is the story of a dog twice surrendered to a Colorado shelter who found his forever family, and a purpose: helping an Army combat veteran adjust to the challenges of coming home from war. High anxiety after return from combat After being together with his high school sweetheart for more than a decade, Vaughan married and, around the same time, joined the Army. In 2011, just a year into their marriage, he was deployed … [Read more...]

Long after WWII and Korea, Bronze Star veteran still saving lives

James and Mandy 1

For one Bronze Star veteran of both WWII and the Korean War, the lure to save homeless pets has meant a house always full of whiskers and wet noses. James, a retired Army veteran, served in both World World II and the Korean War. He worked his way up the ranks of the Army’s Officer Candidate School (OCS) and graduated from Fort Benning as a Second Lieutenant. He calls himself one of the “90-day wonders” – a term describing junior officers during World War II and, when numerous officers were moved quickly through OCS, often during other times of war. Although trained as a ball turret or … [Read more...]

Afghanistan veteran who loses dog while deployed gives another a second chance

Chad Stephanie and Lilly

A National Guardsman whose dog died while he was deployed to Afghanistan fills the void by giving another animal a second chance at life. Two years ago and prior his overseas deployment, Chad and his family adopted their beloved dog Major. A rescue dog, Major was “very challenging” due to his prior experiences, but he was also an “extremely loving and wonderful dog.” Chad’s family felt so blessed to have him in their lives. Major developed a serious health issue while Chad was deployed to Afghanistan. “Unfortunately, Major had to be put to sleep in order to be free from pain," he recalls. … [Read more...]