Marine veteran saves shelter dog “no one wants”

Angela and Rose

A Marine Corps veteran draws upon lessons learned in the military to save, and be saved, by a shelter dog who was overlooked and unwanted. Angela joined the United States Marine Corps in 1992. She was stationed at Camp Lejeune with the 2nd Force Service Support Group and served as a Legal Services Specialist until the end of her contract in 1996. Over the five years that followed, she gave birth to her son and daughter, respectively, and welcomed to the family Ladie - a Black Labrador mix - who eventually passed away at the age of 13. After losing Ladie, dealing with divorce and several … [Read more...]

Retired Navy veteran gives shelter dog “chance to be needed”

John and Hunter

John is a retired Navy veteran who was coping with the "unbearable" loss of his senior dog, Chad, until he and his wife saved a sweet, spirited shelter dog named Hunter. Thanks to our partnership with the Virginia Beach SPCA for making their story possible, as told by John. A true blue military man Though I was fully retired from the Navy in 1995, I continued to work in the same occupational field as when on duty. Even today I work as a civilian employee for the United States Army at Fort Eustis, Newport News Virginia. I was a Navy Corpsman. I spent duty and training in Navy clinics and … [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...]

Navy nurse and shelter cat save each other

Karie and Pudge

Lonely and alone, a career Navy nurse found comfort with an adult shelter cat in need of a home, a friend and a second chance. “I was lonely and wanted a friend,” says Karie, “someone who loved me unconditionally and was happy to see me regardless of my day at work.” Call of duty prompts Karie to join the Navy Karie is an active duty Navy operating room nurse stationed in San Diego. She grew up as the child of a Navy Senior Chief and was married for ten years to an active duty enlisted Navy serviceman. “The Navy community is a small family that steps in to help a person out whenever … [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...]

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...]

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