Both abandoned, combat veteran and rescue dog save each other

Will and Shae

A two-tour Army combat veteran who lost everything when his wife abandoned him reclaims his life with the help of a rescue dog desperate for a second chance. Injured in service and abandoned at home In 2005, Will enlisted in the National Guard and deployed to Kosovo in June of 2006 on a peacekeeping mission. Three years later he was deployed to Afghanistan where - as part of an infantry division out of Massachusetts - he connected with some of the same soldiers he served with in Kosovo. During his Afghanistan tour and while descending a fuel truck ladder, Will injured his back when the … [Read more...]

Adult shelter dog a “light of life” for Army veteran and his wife

George and Ruxin

Ruxin was an adult shelter dog like so many others, wanting nothing more than a secure life in a loving home. In 2013, just before Christmas, the shelter dog got his wish: an Army veteran and his wife - still reeling from the loss of their beloved dog - were smitten by this two year-old Beagle mix. The rest, as they say, is history. In 2005, George retired, many years after his service in the Army Finance Unit. He was drafted in 1958 and recalls one of his most memorable times in the military, when he was serving in Budingen, Germany. "While there I was able to visit with my parents' … [Read more...]

Air Force couple and rescue dog make beautiful music together

Dan Lori and Cash

An Air Force husband-and-wife team traveled the world as military musicians, and are now singing a different tune with their first-ever rescue dog. This is their story, told in their own words. Hello! We are Dan and Lori from Omaha, Nebraska. We are both retired United States Air Force veterans who proudly served 26 and 21 years as musicians in the USAF military bands. Our careers took us all over the world performing music for our military members and civilian communities. It was an exciting part of our lives and we are grateful to have served our country in that capacity.  As you can … [Read more...]

It’s all relative: Einstein joins Navy family

Lynn and Einstein

For one four-legged Einstein, life is all relative as he becomes the latest member of a growing Navy family. It was a cold and dreary day in 2012, about two weeks before Christmas. Like in so many shelters, rescues, SPCAs and humane societies around the country, a homeless dog sat in an Indiana shelter with no home and few prospects of finding one. Unbeknownst to him at the time, the little dog known as Einstein was about to get early holiday present: the prospect of a much brighter future with a family to call his very own. Around that same time, Lynn was surfing the web in search of a … [Read more...]

9/11 rescuer and Iraq war veteran combats loneliness with feline battle buddy

Steven and Simon

When the World Trade Center collapsed on 9/11, Steven left his home in Chicago to join the rescue and recovery efforts at Ground Zero for three weeks, an experience that inspired him to enlist in the Army. But it was a four-legged, feline battle buddy that helped him combat the loneliness of his post-military life. While in the Army, Steven served as a Blackhawk crew chief for six years, and flew more than 1,000 hours over Iraq over the course of two deployments. Despite being twice deployed, his most memorable military experience occurred stateside. Following the 2010 mass shooting at … [Read more...]

Marine veteran saves shelter dog “no one wants”

Angela and Rose

A Marine Corps veteran draws upon lessons learned in the military to save, and be saved, by a shelter dog who was overlooked and unwanted. Angela joined the United States Marine Corps in 1992. She was stationed at Camp Lejeune with the 2nd Force Service Support Group and served as a Legal Services Specialist until the end of her contract in 1996. Over the five years that followed, she gave birth to her son and daughter, respectively, and welcomed to the family Ladie - a Black Labrador mix - who eventually passed away at the age of 13. After losing Ladie, dealing with divorce and several … [Read more...]

Screaming Eagle promises homeless dog a “fulfilling life”

Josh and Panzer

Joshua is an Army combat veteran who served five years with the 101st Airborne, including a yearlong deployment to Iraq. He returned to an empty home that is now complete after adopting a homeless adult dog aching for a second chance at life. The former Screaming Eagle joined the Army out of high school. One of the most memorable moments of his military service when he was deployed to Iraq between February 2003 and February 2004. "We had an arms market in the area of Baghdad we were located. Every time we would patrol, the weapons would disappear," he explains. "So I had the idea to roll in, … [Read more...]

Retired Navy veteran gives shelter dog “chance to be needed”

John and Hunter

John is a retired Navy veteran who was coping with the "unbearable" loss of his senior dog, Chad, until he and his wife saved a sweet, spirited shelter dog named Hunter. Thanks to our partnership with the Virginia Beach SPCA for making their story possible, as told by John. A true blue military man Though I was fully retired from the Navy in 1995, I continued to work in the same occupational field as when on duty. Even today I work as a civilian employee for the United States Army at Fort Eustis, Newport News Virginia. I was a Navy Corpsman. I spent duty and training in Navy clinics and … [Read more...]

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...]

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