Companion pet motivates Army veteran to live

Greg and Bebe

For one disabled Army veteran, a companion pet was all the inspiration he needed to make changes that would ultimately save his life. During the winter of his senior year in high school and with failing grades, Greg knew he wasn’t going to graduate. Driven by the desire to do something different than his seven siblings, he dropped out of school and joined the Army. “It was the one thing I did all on my own,” Greg says. Unlike high school, Greg sailed through basic training with flying colors. As promised to his mother, Greg earned his GED once he arrived at his first duty station. “It made … [Read more...]

Retired Army officer touched by once-homeless dog

Walter and Gracie

A retired Army Lieutenant Colonel was so moved by the plight of a homeless dog that he felt compelled to save her life. Water retired as Lieutenant Colonel from the United States Army after more than 20 years of service. He currently works for the Army Training Support Command as TRADOC Capabilities Manager at Fort Eustis, Virginia, where he draws upon his vast military experiences, includes serving worldwide as a Field Artillery Officer and Comptroller. Among Walter’s more memorable experiences in the service was working with the 528th Field Artillery Group and the First Turkish Army in … [Read more...]

Once-neglected dog finds true love with Marine family

Magoo on bed

Magoo entered a Michigan animal shelter neglected, severely underweight and flea-ridden, but left as a 130-pound new best friend to a Marine veteran. The seven year-old Newfoundland mix now has a second chance at life and a new family to call his own. Peter served in the Marine Corps as a Weather Observer with MWSS-373, Marine Wing Support Squadron, an aviation ground support unit at Marine Corps Air Station in Miramar, California. Early in 2003 he deployed in support of both Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His service took him to both Kuwait and Iraq, which … [Read more...]

Navy veteran and ailing wife saved by rescued dog

Emil and Chico

A Navy veteran recovering from cancer and his wife, who is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's disease, are saved by a rescued dog who finds his purpose in life. Little dog with a big heart Chico, a tiny two year-old Chihuahua Crested Chinese mix, was distrustful of men. Possibly abused by a man before he ended up in an animal shelter, everything changed for Chico when he met Emil, a Navy veteran living in Idaho with his wife, Judy.  Chico was meant to help Judy cope with her Alzheimer's, so Emil was very surprised when the rescued dog started crawling into the Navy veteran's lap at … [Read more...]

Air Force veteran saves pet as he grieves loss of another

Lee and Ace

An Air Force veteran saves a pet in need to cope with the loss of another: a dog he and his wife loved for 16 years. In so doing, he found renewed life with a second-chance dog named Ace. The ace up Lee’s sleeve In 1982, Lee joined the Air Force as a surgical assistant with the hopes of using his military training for an eventual civilian career. After five years of service during which time he earned the rank of Sergeant, Lee joined the Air Force reserves as an aeromedical specialist. During these years he completed his bachelors degree and received a commission as a Medical Service Corps … [Read more...]

Vietnam war long over, Army veteran finds four-legged battle buddy

Richard and Cinnamon 1

At the height of the Vietnam War in early 1968, Richard joined the Army. He joined because, quite simply, “Uncle Sam decided he wanted me.” He loved the opportunity to see different states, like Colorado, and meet different people. He valued the sense of camaraderie as well. “You took care of your buddy and your buddies took care of you.” Richard was scheduled for deployment to Vietnam, but there was an issue with his unit and he no longer had to go. He subsequently got injured and separated from the Army altogether. Without the camaraderie Richard so enjoyed while serving, he turned to the … [Read more...]

Rescued adult dog saves Coast Guard veteran from depression

Charlotte and Al copy

A rescued dog always seems to know when it's been given another chance, and often returns the favor. This is the case with Charlotte, an adult dog who rescued her savior, a Coast Guard veteran, from the grips of his depression. Al is a Coast Guard veteran who was honorably adopted last June by Charlotte, a four year-old Pug-Beagle mix (“Puggle”), at Pets for Patriots' adoption partner Michigan Humane Society. An avid diver, Al joined the Coast Guard in the late 1970’s. When he decided to enlist, it was the lifesaving aspects of the job that attracted him to the Coast Guard. Among the … [Read more...]

Captain Jack rules Army roost

Captain Jack (Jimmy)

In one Army home, a rescued dog named Captain Jack rules the roost with his calm demeanor and winning personality. His unlikely hero is an Army veteran who was never too excited about having dogs in the first place. Army takes teen recruit around the world At the age of 18, Agustin - who goes by Jimmy - joined the Army to strike out on his own and to care for his young family. But his military service left very little family time; he was deployed immediately after basic training, including to Bosnia and Korea on what he affectionately calls "an all expenses paid trip." Once his tour of duty … [Read more...]

Navy gunner’s four-legged mate sweet as honey

Honey

One Navy gunner's mate found his own new mate: an ex-stray named Honey. This is his story as told by his wife, Heather. My husband Eddie is currently in the field and he's not much of a story teller, so I figured I would share our pet adoption story. A dog named Diesel makes a house a home Eddie has been in the military about 10 years and we have been married almost eight years. We also just bought our first house a little over a year ago and we are loving it. We waited many years to get a dog, and finally got one after Eddie was in a bad accident and had to get up and start walking again. … [Read more...]

A letter of thanks for three lives transformed

Stephanie and Fly

This letter of thanks is from Stephanie, a Marine Corps veteran and Pets for Patriots member, to our founder and executive director, Beth Zimmerman. Sometimes all it takes is a dog to forever transform the lives of those around her.  Hi Beth, I know I've thanked you plenty over the phone, but wanted to write you so that anytime your job gets difficult you can read this and have some comfort in knowing that you've greatly affected three lives - [starting with] the life of our new dog, Fly, an eight month-old Border Collie that was rescued by your partner in Utah, Canines With a … [Read more...]

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