Air Force veteran gives hope and final home to senior dog with cancer

Wendy and Bear

A senior dog with terminal cancer finds his final home with an Air Force veteran who is dedicated to providing a loving hospice to ailing, older dogs. This is the story of Wendy and Jonah, but is really a larger tale about compassion and love.   +++ Taking flight around the world with the U.S. Air Force I currently live in Ohio about an hour from where I grew up. I joined the Air Force, active duty, through the delayed enlistment program while a junior in high school. I left for basic training three weeks after graduation. After my four year tour I left active service and eventually made … [Read more...]

How to make sure your pet is safe when you deploy

Woman and dog

You entrust a friend to make sure that your pet is safe and sound while you deploy, only to discover upon your return that your beloved Fluffy or Fido has been surrendered to a shelter, sold or given away. Because "friends" like this exist, military pet parents have a unique responsibility to make proper, legally binding arrangements to assure the health and safety of their pets - and to have confidence that their four-legged family members will be there when they return from deployment. Deployment boarding There are reputable organizations whose sole focus is providing short- and long-term … [Read more...]

Special needs older dog helps Navy family cope with geo-bachelor dad

Annie and the kids

It took an older, special needs dog named Annie to help one Navy family meet life's challenges when their geo-bachelor father had to serve far from home. This story is told by Amy, whose husband, Kevin, is a Pets for Patriots member serving in the United States Navy. +++ I am a dependant of an active duty spouse. My husband has been serving with the United States Navy (USN) since 1992. His current rank is E8, which translates to Senior Chief for the USN. He’s been stationed in various different states on board various different ships prior to making career counseling his current rate. His … [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...]

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...]

Marine veteran’s tough love helps neglected dog overcome his past

David and Toby

It’s taking all the discipline and tough love of one Marine veteran to help a long-neglected dog live the life he was meant to have. Toby is a Labrador/Pit-Bull mix who led a literally sheltered life before his adoption. Crate-bound for nearly two years, he was rescued from this inhumane existence by Paws and Prayers dog rescue in Ohio. Little did Toby know that it would be a hardscrabble Marine Corps veteran who would help this homeless mutt learn the true meaning of love. One of the few and the proud: a Marine to the core Seeking a family nature didn’t provide for him, David joined the … [Read more...]

Adoption of ‘unwanted’ cats inspires Navy couple to help people in need

Kathy and Bear

A bonded pair of unwanted, senior cats are lucky to be alive, thanks to a pair of Navy veterans who adopted them after finding their empty nest a bit too empty. The experience turned out to be a catalyst in their lives, motivating them to help people who often live on the fringes of society.  An OIF/OEF Navy veteran comes home Kathy and her husband, Jim, are both retired from the Navy. Collectively they served nearly thirty years, including overseas tours in Bermuda, Iceland, Wales and Pakistan, the latter of which holds one of Kathy’s most memorable experiences. “My short time in Pakistan … [Read more...]

Abused dog finds love in dual-Marine family

Rella (Caleigh)

For one abused adult dog aptly named Cinderella, a Marine Corps family provided the fairy tale ending she deserved.  “Life is better with a dog or two,” says Caleigh, a proud Marine reservist, military spouse and – if that wasn’t enough – mother to two young boys and now, two rescue dogs. Saving the first dog from abuse To help cope with the challenges of life as a military spouse, in 2009 Caleigh adopted Cadence, a female shepherd mix. The dog had been abused and was ridden with heartworm. In the years since, Cadence’s physical health recovered and she became more secure in the loving … [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...]

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