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...]

Reporting for duty: how companion pets help military veterans

Dog at soldiers feet

Companion pets help people, military veterans included, in various ways and through many life stages. Among well-established physical benefits are lower cholesterol, blood pressure and triglyceride levels, while emotional impacts include fewer feelings of loneliness and depression. While not every circumstance is unique to military service, there are distinct junctures in a veteran's life when a companion pet might be just what the doctor ordered: Transitioning from service to civilian life Upon separating from service, many veterans feel lost without the structure, discipline and routine … [Read more...]

How to keep pets safe during the winter holidays

Christmas cat

Pets for Patriots urges all pet owners to take precautions to keep their pets safe during the winter holidays. While we're busy ringing in good cheer and the New Year, pets can have access to potentially dangerous food and holiday decor, and can be stressed by changes in their routine, environment or unfamiliar guests who may not know how to interact with your dog or cat. From 'ho ho ho' to 'no no no:' indoor holiday threats Baking chocolate: a single ounce of baking chocolate, also known as baker's chocolate, can be lethal to a small dog or cat. While all chocolate is dangerous to your … [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...]

Navy sailor beats the blues with help of adult dog

Brandon and Maximus

They say if you want a best friend in politics, get a dog. One Navy sailor found the same to be true, with a twist: he saved an adult dog and, in the process, changed both of their lives forever. A dream and a dog Virginia Beach, Virginia is now where Brandon calls home while serving as a proud United States Navy Sailor stationed at Naval Station Norfolk, the world’s largest naval station. In March, 2011 Brandon set sail from his original hometown of Marion, Ohio to attend basic training at the U. S. Navy Great Lakes Training Command about 30 miles north of Chicago, Illinois, and then … [Read more...]

Retired Navy Yeoman finds honor in pet adoption

L.J. and Melinda (close up)

In 2000 and after twenty years’ service, Melinda retired from the U.S. Navy as a yeoman first class and found another calling: pet adoption. “It was a wonderful 20 years!" Melinda exclaims, "The people, the places, the opportunities – all terrific!” For the love of Navy...and dogs The Navy veteran collected many fond memories during her time in the military. Among her favorites are learning to live on her own away from parents, meeting her husband, living in Australia, working at the Pentagon and establishing new friendships over the years. Especially dear to Melinda’s heart was her … [Read more...]

Vietnam veteran dedicated to serve saves homeless dog

Steve and Chelsea smiling

For one Vietnam veteran, serving others is a way of life. And for the homeless dog he saved, she now has a new leash on life thanks to this kind-hearted man who dedicates himself to serve others: men, women, children and pets - with no distinction. Andy  the Bloodhound and the Vietnam legacy Steve served as a military policeman in the 615th MP Brigade in Vietnam. They were known as the Bloodhounds and their mascot was Andy the bloodhound. Andy played a big role in the lives of those soldiers living so far away from home. He was a much needed distraction from what was around them, and … [Read more...]

Abandoned dog rescues combat veteran with PTSD

Duke

An abandoned dog rescued by an Army combat veteran not only got a new leash on life, but found renewed purpose by saving his veteran from the crushing symptoms of PTSD.  Determined to his join band of brothers in combat In 2004 Justin decided to see more of the world outside of his hometown of Avery, Texas. He joined the Army on his seventeenth birthday and served in the Army Reserve for four years, including a deployment to Iraq from 2006 to 2007. Currently stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado as a sergeant, he is poised to retire just one month short of celebrating his tenth anniversary in … [Read more...]

Vietnam veteran saves neglected dog slated for death

Hugh and Jo Jo closeup

Despite serving in Vietnam, Hugh never used the word "hero" to describe himself. But a neglected shelter dog marked for death would beg to differ: Hugh saved his life. "Jo Jo was chosen to be euthanized because he had been so neglected," says Hugh. "His teeth on the right side were rotten and he was so thin."  Long after Vietnam, Hugh moved from Kentucky to Florida with his wife, Linda. The veteran is a compassionate family man, and he and Linda are active in their local church. Together they have two sons, two daughters-in-law, six grandchildren and six great grandchildren, and consider … [Read more...]

Senior dog picks Army veteran as new best friend

Izzi and Martha

At eight years of age, Izzi was a homeless, senior dog looking for a friend. Her search ended when her path crossed with that of an Army veteran in search of a four-legged companion.  Service both overseas and at home Martha served in the Army from 1974 through 1977 with the 28th Transportation Battalion in Mannheim, Germany. She worked as a bookkeeper and earned the Army Commendation Medal for her work. After separating from service she joined the California National Guard, attached to the 1st Battalion, 149th Armor. Among her many roles were clerk, communications specialist, APC tank … [Read more...]

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