Adopted dog keeps 80 year-old Navy veteran young at heart

Ralph and Snickers

An adopted adult dog with a larger-than-life personality helps an 80 year-old Navy veteran and grandfather stay active, and young at heart. "My children thought I needed a pet...and they were right" "I'm an 80 year-old grandpa and dad," says Ralph. "I've been married to the same woman for 58 years, we still enjoy each others company." Yet in 2012, Ralph and his wife, Barbara, had suffered the loss of their little dog, Jessie. The Navy veteran remembered how "the house hadn't been the same" without their beloved pet. Ralph and Barbara were having a hard time adapting to a dog-less home, in … [Read more...]

After IED blast and PTSD, combat veteran’s best medicine is adopted dog

Nate and Otis

An IED blast nearly shattered a three-tour Navy veteran's mind and body, but an adopted dog named Otis has proved to be the best medicine of all. Nate is an active duty Navy corpsman who currently works at the Naval Hospital at Camp Lejeune. Earlier this year, he was honorably adopted by Otis, a two year-old stray American Bulldog-Labrador mix who seemed destined to be Nate's new best friend. Determined to serve and save the lives of fellow veterans Growing up the son of an Air Force pilot, Nate gained extensive knowledge of what life in the military was like. He knew that someday he would … [Read more...]

There’s something about Harry: hapless shelter dog wins heart of Navy veteran

Anna and Harry

Harry is an adorable, curly haired shelter dog whose antics won the heart of a retired Navy veteran even as he tested her patience.  Lifelong animal lover and Navy veteran Anna served more than 20 years in the Navy and, once retired, decided it was time to expand her family. A native of San Diego, some of her fondest memories are of her visits to nearby San Diego Zoo, but her community offers many opportunities for pet involvement. "My favorites," she says with her trademark smile, "are walk-run events with oodles of adorable dogs on leashes, happily meandering along as their owners huff … [Read more...]

Navy veteran learns life lessons from last-chance shelter dog

Betty and Bella

A career Navy veteran who traveled the world learns important life lessons from a last-chance shelter dog. For almost three decades, Betty served in the Naval Reserve and dedicated 40 years as a civilian employee until her dual retirements. In the course of a civilian job with the Navy Recruiting Area FIVE in Great Lakes, Illinois, Betty was invited to join the Navy through the Advanced Pay Grade Program, which sought Naval candidates with related civilian experience. She enlisted and, after nearly 30 years of service exclaims, "It was the best decision I ever made!” Betty’s Naval career … [Read more...]

Army family finds joy in second chance cat

Martin and Heart

It was an adopted second chance cat that helped an Army veteran and family man keep a promise to his young daughter. The commitment Martin is an Army veteran who lives in Shelby Township, Michigan with his wife, an Army recruiter, and their six year-old daughter. He is currently a police training officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital in Detroit. For years, Martin’s daughter had begged her parents for a kitten. However, with two family dogs – a Yellow Labrador and a Beagle-Jack Russell Terrier mix – Martin and his wife felt they already had enough to handle, and promised … [Read more...]

Adopted cat is chatty pet friend to Navy veteran

Deborah and Katie J

A Navy veteran adopted an adult cat in order to have someone to talk to, and got a pet friend who actually talks back. Loss and loneliness lead to pet adoption Deborah, a Navy veteran, traveled the world during her tour of duty during Vietnam. She hoped to have a long military career, but it was cut short after one tour due a medical problem. Realizing that pets are naturally therapeutic, Deborah adopted a cat - who then lived for 23 years. His loss was painful, like losing an old friend, and the Vietnam veteran felt the pain of his absence. Her husband is based in Minnesota for his job … [Read more...]

Rescued Pit Bull returns the favor by saving disabled Navy veteran from depression

John and Samantha

An adult rescued Pit Bull changed life for the better for a Navy veteran disabled by chronic pain and depression. In the Navy and loving "every minute" Growing up in California, John was a young man unsure of what he wanted to do with his life. He was a good student in high school and upon graduation enlisted in the Navy to give himself a few more years to figure out his future. He jokes that he chose the Navy because he had heard it had the best food and easiest work relative to other branches of the military. He was assigned to a troop carrier and served as a quartermaster, which at the … [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...]

Rescued cat heals the soul of Desert Storm veteran

Erik and Brazil smiling

One rescued tabby cat returned the favor of being saved by healing the soul of the disabled Desert Storm veteran who adopted her.  Desert Storm takes its toll For more than two years, Erik served as a 13M Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) launcher driver with B 1/27 FA in Babenhausen, Germany. In December 1990, he was deployed to the Gulf where he fought in Desert Storm, returning to Germany nearly eight months later.  While one of the more positive, memorable experiences from his time in the service was witnessing the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Desert Storm veteran holds other … [Read more...]

Navy inspires man to give lifeline to pet in need

Trevor and Holly

The Navy was an anchor and turning point in the life of one young man adrift in a sea of uncertainty, helping him – in turn – give a much-needed lifeline to an adult pet in need of a loving home. Charting a new course It was a sense of duty and the desire to find his purpose that inspired Trevor to enlist in the Navy. “I joined the Navy to serve my country,” he explains, “and because I went to college and changed my major seven times – and still had no idea what I wanted to do as a career.” Luckily for Trevor, the Navy gave him the direction that had eluded him previously. He was assigned … [Read more...]

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