Dog no one wanted a savior to Marine veteran with PTSD

James and Layla

PTSD and me James is a Marine Corps veteran with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) who for much of his post-military life relied on the kindness of loved ones. One day he decided to pay it forward by saving the life of a love-starved shelter dog no one wanted. "I have been a Marine who has gone through life with everyone helping him after serving," he says, "regardless of my inability to be around a large group of people, [or] being overly alert or distant." Despite these and other life challenges, James was slow to recognize that he had PTSD. He describes a situation in which he … [Read more...]

Pit Bull helps Afghanistan veteran go from battlefront to home front

Aaron and Waffles napping

It's a hard-knock, post-Army life Ask veterans of Iraq or Afghanistan about their greatest challenge and many will say the adjustment from battlefront to home front. One such veteran has an adopted Pit Bull to thank for helping him make the transition to his post-Army life.  Dunkin was a relatively young and fairly large Pit Bull waiting for his second chance at an Alabama shelter. In reality, Pit Bulls are not a breed unto themselves, but are comprised of a variety of dog breeds with similar physical traits. They are among the most misunderstood types of dogs and, as a result, most prone … [Read more...]

Pint-sized pup to the rescue of lonely lady sailor

Kelsey USN and Bruce Wayne_cropped

It's often said that good things come in small packages. This proved true for one pint-sized shelter pup who came to the rescue of a lonely Navy sailor looking for some four-legged love. It's a small world after all Kelsey grew up in Kansas and in 2012 enlisted in the Navy. She was stationed aboard the USS Pearl Harbor LSD-52 in San Diego before receiving Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. Leaving California meant leaving a close personal connection, as well. "My boyfriend is a Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton in San Diego," she … [Read more...]

And dog makes three: twice surrendered dog completes Air Force family

John and Ajax_edited

Donner was a big, energetic Labrador Retriever mix in a Florida shelter. Surrendered twice within his first year of life, he repaid the disabled Air Force veteran who adopted him by completing his young family and helping him regain his health.  Love is in the air John fell in love while stationed in the United Kingdom as a member of the United States Air Force, during which time he served in both Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. When he eventually returned to the United States he was accompanied by not only a wife, but a new baby as well. Injuring his leg “ranks high up on the … [Read more...]

Rescue dog saves retired airman from “a bad case of lonely”

Charles and Sophie adopted

Ending a multi-decade career can be tough. One veteran airman found that a rescue dog saved him from the loneliness and boredom that plagued him after he retired from the workforce, and helped him honor the memory of a recently departed pet. Airman’s dream career Charles worked hard his entire life. The father of three served in the United States Air Force for more than 30 years before retiring to part-time jobs. Major surgery led to his full retirement, and he currently gets around with the help of a motorized wheelchair.  It was 1969 when Charles enlisted in the Tennessee National … [Read more...]

Special needs pup a lifeline to Navy veteran dogged by depression

Mark and Shadow

Hard knock life for stray pup Shadow is a pup who earns the moniker "special" not only due to her physical challenges, but for how she is able to uplift the Navy veteran who adopted her from the grips of his depression. The Lab mix was not even a year old when she arrived at the Jacksonville Humane Society with serious signs of a hardscrabble life. Shadow had been transferred from another shelter where her tail had to be amputated due to a pre-existing degloving injury. Follow up radiographs revealed that her right hind leg was broken in not one, but two places, requiring additional medical … [Read more...]

Rescued Pit Bull saves combat veteran from “lonely world”

Jason and Tyrion_cropped

The world can be a pretty lonely place, especially for a veteran transitioning to civilian life. For one such veteran, a rescued Pit Bull was all he needed to battle loneliness and deal with the stresses of everyday life. Air Force 'cowboy' aims high Jason joined the Air Force, and was stationed in both Oklahoma and Germany with the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) enlisted air crew. A profound sense of duty inspired the die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan to enlist.  "I entered the military because I think all men should serve their country," he says. While deployed overseas Jason … [Read more...]

Navy-Air Force veteran saves life of “angel sent from up above”

Kyle and Cam_square

Proud to serve, by sea or by air Kyle is a veteran of both the Navy and the Air Force. His guiding ethos is to fight for the rights of people and pets who cannot fight for themselves. A recent college graduate and current Air Force Reservist, Kyle is working through a management program with a major, multi-regional supermarket chain. However, it is abundantly clear that service to country is part of this veteran's DNA.  "I entered the military having the desire to give back in some way even if I did not go active," he says. "I feel the need to give something back to America, and still … [Read more...]

The soldier and the stray

Jeremy and Gannon

When Jeremy's dreams of a military career were cut short the Army veteran was in desperate need a companion. He found one in a once-stray dog who needed hope and a home as much as Jeremy needed a friend. "The greatest time of my life" In 2009, Jeremy joined the Army with "every intention to make it a career." Just 22 at the time, it had been a lifelong dream to serve his country and he believed that military service would be "the best thing" for him. The Army did not disappoint. "I have been all over the world and been to many different locations," he says, adding, "Greatest time of my … [Read more...]

Third generation soldier first time adopter and hero to senior dog

Andrew and Nikita edited

You could say the Army is in Andrew's DNA. The third generation soldier is a career National Guardsman, and recently became a first time pet adopter to a senior dog who needed a hero. Born to serve Andrew joined the Army National Guard during high school and completed basic training shortly after graduation. In 2012 he was deployed to Afghanistan and, since his return home in 2013, has been serving as an operations planner for the recruiting section. The career soldier followed his father and grandfather into military service.  “Twelve years now I’ve been Guard,” he explains. "I am third … [Read more...]