Navy veteran eases transition to civilian life with four-legged friend

Melina and Remi

Melina is a Navy veteran struggling to adapt to civilian life. When she was gripped with depression and began to isolate herself, she knew it was time for some four-legged intervention. Melina lives in Knoxville where she is pursuing a degree in criminology at the University of Tennessee. Her three cats, which she calls her “rambunctious felines,” keep her company while her husband is stationed in Virginia Beach. It seems like the typical life of a military spouse, but there’s more to this story. Upholding a family’s military tradition “My entire family has been in the military and I … [Read more...]

Dog lover makes room in his heart for a cat named Callie

Mark and Callie

A dual Marine-Army veteran  and dog lover learned that he had a soft spot for, of all things, a rescued Calico cat. The Vietnam-era Devil Dog - a term associated with the Marines since WWI for their legendary bravado in battle - found joy with the finicky feline, who's proving to have a personality as resilient as her savior. After serving in the Marine Corps from 1973 to 1975 and then the next eight years in the Army as a heavy–wheel vehicle mechanic, Mark separated from service with the rank of sergeant first class. The disabled veteran always fancied himself a dog person, but that all … [Read more...]

Cinnamon adds spice to life for one Navy couple

Christopher and Cinnamon

One Navy Vietnam veteran learned that a litte bit of cinnamon each day helped improve his health and his wife’s emotional well-being. His therapeutic dose wasn’t the kind that lends its powerful aromatic appeal to rolls, pies or chocolates, but was rather the four-legged variety. Christopher joined the Navy in March 1974 during the Vietnam War and served til March 1978. During his four years, he was attached to the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Five, known as the Seabees, out of Port Hueneme, California. “I was lucky not to have to go to war," he says, “but I still deployed for … [Read more...]

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...]

Prayer guides Army reservist to four-legged miracle

Lucy and Me copy

The power of prayer worked for one Army reservist, whose faith was rewarded with a very special, four-legged miracle. This is Renee's story, in her own words, following her honorable adoption of a shelter dog named Lucy. +++ Dear Pets for Patriots, Please forgive me for taking so long getting back to you. Things are a bit hectic on this end. I would like to share with you my story about my new special companion, Lucy. Last July I learned that Sidney, my Miniature American Eskimo of 15 years, blind since birth, was now filled with cancer. There are no words to describe my pain and grief. I … [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...]