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Shelter Dog a Naval Aviator's Port in the Storm

Damian and Bella

Pets for Patriots

Damian had a long Naval career as an aviator and flight instructor. After years of constant change, he embraced post-military life and shared his newly permanent roots with a friend: a shelter dog named Bella. Although mobility is a job requirement of anyone in the military, relocating is still a complex event and can take its toll. The effects... more

Iraq Vet Cited for Owning 14 Therapeutic Pet Ducks

Iraq war veteran Darin Welker, 36, of West Lafayette, Ohio, says his 14 pet ducks serve as mental and physical therapy for him. He's worried he'll have to give them up after village officials told him he can't keep them on his property. Trevor Jones/AP

Associated Press | Jul 21, 2014

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ohio -- An Army veteran who was wounded during the Iraq War is worried a citation will result in him losing his 14 pet ducks, which he says are therapeutic. Darin Welker, of West Lafayette, was cited with a minor misdemeanor June 23 for having the ducks in his yard. He is scheduled to appear in Coshocton Municipal Court for a h... more

El Paso Marine Reunited With Service Dog

Chocolate labrador sniffing in a field. | Jul 16, 2014

As Mariah was taken off the plane and then moved into the greeting area of the El Paso International Airport, it didn't take long for the black Labrador Retriever to realize she was home. El Paso is a foreign place to her, with different smells and sounds but her Marine was here -- and that was all that mattered. On Thursday, Mariah and ... more

Vietnam Veteran Helps People, Pets Find Their Way

John and Tasha

Pets for Patriots

John is a Vietnam veteran who wonders if he has a story to tell. "I'm one of the lucky ones who came out of combat unscathed, both physically and mentally," he says. "I thank God every day for that." Nevertheless, John does have a tale. He helps people and pets find their way, first as a radar installation supervisor in Vietnam and then as a t... more

Dogs and Veterans Heal With Dog Tags Program

Soldiers with dogs in a lineup.

Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer | Jul 16, 2014

CARTHAGE -- A dog named Charm came up to Chief Warrant Officer 2 James Lane and immediately sat down. "He's got it figured out already," Lane said as he reached for a treat to give the boxer mix. Lane had been working with Charm earlier, giving the dog a treat when he obeyed the command to sit. Now, Lane was going to the next step. "S... more

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