Anchors away for Navy couple and rescued pitbull

Wes, Vic and Bowser

It's anchors away for a Navy husband-and-wife team and their rescued pitbull, Bowser.  Wes is a public affairs officer with the Navy reserves and his wife, Victoria - who goes by Vic - a Navy nurse. Shortly after celebrating their first wedding anniversary and with the prospect of children many years down the road, the couple decided to adopt a dog because they "wanted a companion to love and to love us back."  From Texas to Virginia, with love Both Wes and Vic came from Texas, but that's about the only similarity in their nascent military careers. Wes was commissioned from the University … [Read more...]

Spirited cat wins heart of lonely Air Force veteran

Harry and Ed

A previously abused, but spirited cat finds his way into the heart and home of a lonely Air Force veteran. Not exactly a scene from When Harry Met Sally, but more like When Harry Met... Ed. Pets for Patriots member Ed was easily won over by Harry, a spirited Maine Coon, during their first meeting. Harry, on the other hand, took a little longer to come around. But in a patient and loving environment, the Air Force veteran who had served in Vietnam and elsewhere internationally, soon became the world to the homeless feline. Air Force veteran meets scaredy cat The veteran and his daughter … [Read more...]

Marine veteran finds two-pound dog worth her weight in gold

Karen and Chloe

For one Marine veteran, a scrappy little puppy mill dog destined for death was worth saving – and worth her weight in gold. Chloe, a seven year-old Chihuahua, has truly been through the mill. The two-pound dog was abandoned after doing time in a puppy mill, her reproductive organs over used, worn out and infected. She was a pitiful sight when Karen, a U.S. Marine veteran, noticed the rag-tag dog at the Lake City Columbia County Humane Society in Lake City, Florida. “She was so timid and fragile; she looked scared to death,” recalls Karen, who was stationed at Marine Corps Base Quantico in … [Read more...]

Rescued dog eases burden of Marine combat veteran

Jason and Javi Lynn

Sometimes all it takes is a rescued dog to ease the invisible, but heavy burden carried by our combat veterans. This is one such story from Jason, a dual Army and Marine veteran, and how his rescued dog changed his life for the better. *** From battlefield to homefront I have been a dog lover all of my life. I remember almost every dog that ever followed me home from my paper route as a kid to the brave K-9 Marines I crossed paths with in Afghanistan. I currently live in Utah and do marketing for a large physician pain practice. I do have to say: I am a bit of a private person and hope … [Read more...]

PTSD veteran saved by once-abused one-eyed dog

Matthew and Eli

For one veteran coping with PTSD and depression, his saving grace came in the form of a one-eyed dog who had been previously abused. This is his story, in his own words. *** My name is Matthew Goschke; I'm born and raised in Rochester, New York. I've lived here my whole life besides my experiences with the military. I currently run security for the City of Rochester, loss prevention for The Home Depot and am pursuing my paramedic degree. After my military service I found integrating back into civilian life a lot more difficult then I had anticipated. Light at the end of a "very dark" … [Read more...]

Navy family sails high with rescued dog at helm

Macy and Tyler

Deployment can be tough on Navy and other military families, but a companion pet can make for smoother sailing. This is the experience of one Pets for Patriots adopter who decided to adopt a shelter dog to give his wife comfort when he deploys out to sea. Tyler is a 23 year-old active duty member of the United States Navy. He joined the service six years ago and has been stationed in San Diego on the USS Peleliu LHA-5, an amphibious assault ship. He served three deployments, one humanitarian mission and two West Pacific missions, earning a Navy Achievement Medal during his second … [Read more...]

Marine adopts adult dog to start his family

Wesley and Sass doing homework

An adult dog reminds one Marine of his boyhood, and a family tradition is reborn with the help of Pets for Patriots. “I always had a dog growing up,” says Wesley, a Marine Reservist living in upstate New York. “When I returned home from deployment and got married, I decided it was time to restart that tradition.” He and his wife, Paige, hope to have kids one day. Wesley believes it’s important for his children to have the same experience that he had growing up by having pets around the house.  Wesley served six years with the U.S. Marine Corps. Stationed in Syracuse, New York, he was … [Read more...]

Adopted pet takes bite out of veteran’s depression

Michael and Paco 1

Sometimes the antidote to loneliness and isolation is as simple as shelter pet adoption. For one Navy veteran suffering from depression, a homeless dog was just what the doctor ordered. Michael joined the Navy to get an education and to travel the world. Still on active duty, he has literally been around the world and back again, recently landing coveted orders which brought him back to his hometown in Michigan. Despite a successful naval career spanning some 18 years which included many academic and service awards and accolades – including Command Sailor of the Year in 2007 when he served at … [Read more...]

Shepherd rescue joins Coast Guard veteran’s ‘wild bunch’

blake-will-1

For one particular Coast Guard veteran, a quirky, adopted Shepherd dog made his family's 'wild bunch' just a little bit more wild - and joyful.  For the past 23 years, Will has been working as a dispatcher for the Detroit police and fire departments. During his prior Coast Guard service, he was stationed in Hawaii, traveled to Alaska on patrol, attended the Navy Electronics School near Chicago and served on a Lake Erie, Ohio search-and-rescue team. Will always had pets growing up, usually multiple cats and dogs at the same time. One of his memories is about Brownie, a German Shepherd Saint … [Read more...]

Military family’s senior dog has date with destiny

Jim and dogs after morning run

One military family's senior dog seems to have had a date with destiny, giving credence to animal lovers who find their pets through rescue and adoption and who say they did not find their companions, but their companions found them. This is the story of one such pet. Archy had it made. He had been safely surrounded with love and care in the arms of a loving military family for 14 years. As is the case with most military families, Archy’s family had moved frequently, including two moves overseas. The dog had been through it all, but last year when his family got orders to fly overseas yet … [Read more...]