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...]

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...]

Adopted dog keeps 80 year-old Navy veteran young at heart

Ralph and Snickers

An adopted adult dog with a larger-than-life personality helps an 80 year-old Navy veteran and grandfather stay active, and young at heart. "My children thought I needed a pet...and they were right" "I'm an 80 year-old grandpa and dad," says Ralph. "I've been married to the same woman for 58 years, we still enjoy each others company." Yet in 2012, Ralph and his wife, Barbara, had suffered the loss of their little dog, Jessie. The Navy veteran remembered how "the house hadn't been the same" without their beloved pet. Ralph and Barbara were having a hard time adapting to a dog-less home, in … [Read more...]