Companion pet motivates Army veteran to live

Greg and Bebe

For one disabled Army veteran, a companion pet was all the inspiration he needed to make changes that would ultimately save his life. During the winter of his senior year in high school and with failing grades, Greg knew he wasn’t going to graduate. Driven by the desire to do something different than his seven siblings, he dropped out of school and joined the Army. “It was the one thing I did all on my own,” Greg says. Unlike high school, Greg sailed through basic training with flying colors. As promised to his mother, Greg earned his GED once he arrived at his first duty station. “It made … [Read more...]

Retired Army officer touched by once-homeless dog

Walter and Gracie

A retired Army Lieutenant Colonel was so moved by the plight of a homeless dog that he felt compelled to save her life. Water retired as Lieutenant Colonel from the United States Army after more than 20 years of service. He currently works for the Army Training Support Command as TRADOC Capabilities Manager at Fort Eustis, Virginia, where he draws upon his vast military experiences, includes serving worldwide as a Field Artillery Officer and Comptroller. Among Walter’s more memorable experiences in the service was working with the 528th Field Artillery Group and the First Turkish Army in … [Read more...]

Prayer guides Army reservist to four-legged miracle

Lucy and Me copy

The power of prayer worked for one Army reservist, whose faith was rewarded with a very special, four-legged miracle. This is Renee's story, in her own words, following her honorable adoption of a shelter dog named Lucy. +++ Dear Pets for Patriots, Please forgive me for taking so long getting back to you. Things are a bit hectic on this end. I would like to share with you my story about my new special companion, Lucy. Last July I learned that Sidney, my Miniature American Eskimo of 15 years, blind since birth, was now filled with cancer. There are no words to describe my pain and grief. I … [Read more...]

Go Red for safety

Red seat belt 2

Red is one of our first Pets for Patriots honorable adoptions. Recently he received his adoption anniversary gift cards, and his adopted mom - a disabled Army veteran - put the cards to good use after a harrowing experience on the road. We're sharing their cautionary tale.   Hi Pets for Patriots,   Thank you so much for the wonderful birthday gift for Red.   Red and I had an experience not long ago that gave use real reason to think. We were in my pick-up truck coming back from the veterinarian. Part of the trip comes over an overpass that has a stop light at the bottom. You guessed it: … [Read more...]

Vietnam war long over, Army veteran finds four-legged battle buddy

Richard and Cinnamon 1

At the height of the Vietnam War in early 1968, Richard joined the Army. He joined because, quite simply, “Uncle Sam decided he wanted me.” He loved the opportunity to see different states, like Colorado, and meet different people. He valued the sense of camaraderie as well. “You took care of your buddy and your buddies took care of you.” Richard was scheduled for deployment to Vietnam, but there was an issue with his unit and he no longer had to go. He subsequently got injured and separated from the Army altogether. Without the camaraderie Richard so enjoyed while serving, he turned to the … [Read more...]

Pets for Patriots 9/11 Challenge

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Pets for Patriots is laying down the gauntlet with our first 9/11 Challenge: for 2,000 people to pledge $11 a month to support our troops and the influx of post-9/11 veterans entering our charitable program. More 9/11 veterans need a four-legged buddy Mario is a three-tour Iraq war veteran. After graduating high school in the wake of September 11th, he joined the Army because, in his own words, "I definitely wanted to do something and be a part of the military." During his third tour, he nearly died and was medically retired. Lost and depressed, Mario turned to Pets for Patriots for help … [Read more...]

Captain Jack rules Army roost

Captain Jack (Jimmy)

In one Army home, a rescued dog named Captain Jack rules the roost with his calm demeanor and winning personality. His unlikely hero is an Army veteran who was never too excited about having dogs in the first place. Army takes teen recruit around the world At the age of 18, Agustin - who goes by Jimmy - joined the Army to strike out on his own and to care for his young family. But his military service left very little family time; he was deployed immediately after basic training, including to Bosnia and Korea on what he affectionately calls "an all expenses paid trip." Once his tour of duty … [Read more...]

Rescued dog eases burden of Marine combat veteran

Jason and Javi Lynn

Sometimes all it takes is a rescued dog to ease the invisible, but heavy burden carried by our combat veterans. This is one such story from Jason, a dual Army and Marine veteran, and how his rescued dog changed his life for the better. *** From battlefield to homefront I have been a dog lover all of my life. I remember almost every dog that ever followed me home from my paper route as a kid to the brave K-9 Marines I crossed paths with in Afghanistan. I currently live in Utah and do marketing for a large physician pain practice. I do have to say: I am a bit of a private person and hope … [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...]

PTSD veteran saved by once-abused one-eyed dog

Matthew and Eli

For one veteran coping with PTSD and depression, his saving grace came in the form of a one-eyed dog who had been previously abused. This is his story, in his own words. *** My name is Matthew Goschke; I'm born and raised in Rochester, New York. I've lived here my whole life besides my experiences with the military. I currently run security for the City of Rochester, loss prevention for The Home Depot and am pursuing my paramedic degree. After my military service I found integrating back into civilian life a lot more difficult then I had anticipated. Light at the end of a "very dark" … [Read more...]