Heroes and Their Dogs

Cadet George Proudly Wearing his Vest for the First Time

Cadet George Proudly Wearing his Vest for the First Time

Service Dog “Katz” and U.S. Marine Matthew Arace

Service Dog “Pearson” and U.S. Army Veteran Joseph Gregory

Arrival of Golden PAWS Puppy Cadet “George”

George’s Cadet training has begun and he is on his way to being a best friend and life changer for a Veteran hero.  

Service Dog Morgen at Golden PAWS Graduation

Service Dog Morgen Graduation photo.  Morgen was trained at Golden PAWS Assistance Dogs and funds for training are provided by Vets Helping Heroes.

Golden PAWS Cadet Brady on his 1st Birthday

New photos of “Cadet Brady” on his 1st birthday.  Brady is In Service Dog training at Golden PAWS Assistance Dogs and funds for training are provided by Vets Helping Heroes.

Pawsitive Action Foundation Future Service Dog Puppy Murray

Puppy “Murray” currently in training at Pawsitive Action Foundation funds for training provided by Vets Helping Heroes for disabled Veteran at no cost to the Veteran.

Pawsitive Action Foundation Veteran Rodger and Service Dog Tuca

From Rodger and Tuca. Thank you and VHH for making these moments happen. Trained at Pawsitive Action Foundation funds provided by Vets Helping Heroes at no cost to the Veteran.

Pawsitive Action Foundation Veteran Robert and Service Dog Gluff

Picture us of VHH sponsored team Robert and Service Dog Gluff. They received their Canine Good Citizenship and Advanced CGC certifications today. Trained at Pawsitive Action Foundation funds provided by Vets Helping Heroes at no cost to The Veteran.

Shawna Taylor & Service Dog Annie

Navy veteran and former hospital corpsman Shawna Taylor says that her physical challenges and posttraumatic stress disorder aren’t always visible to others. Living with the effects of fibromyalgia, this young mother of two and full-time college student knew she needed extra help.

Tom Olszewski & Service Dog Sal

Tom Olszewski enjoyed his military career. He first enlisted in the Navy, where he spent two years on active duty including a 1968 tour in Vietnam. He served in the Army Reserve for 19 years, retiring as a first sergeant in the infantry with 21 years of combined service.

Art Pina & Service Dog Mr. Bob

Art Pina entered the Army when he was just 17 and spent two years in Vietnam. After his first deployment, he was assigned the somber duty of funeral detail at Fort George Meade. “After a few months, I asked to return to Vietnam,” he says, and the Army gave him orders back to Vietnam as…

Edwin Franco and Service Dog Nancy

Air Force veteran of over 14 years, Ed Franco served as an air and ground intelligence officer and was deployed to the Middle East, Central America, Africa, Central Asia, and South America. His job entailed human intelligence collection and analyzing data from external threats. This Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University graduate and board member started learning aircraft mechanics at age 13…

Parker and Silas

Parker is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who has been diagnosed with PTS and depression. He is graduating from FSD’s Operation Full Circle program with service dog Silas, a pointer mix who has been trained to provide pressure during sleep, interrupt stress response while in traffic by resting his head on Parker’s shoulder, and more.

Cory and Opus

Cory & Opus Cory, a U.S. Army veteran, was injured in a blast while serving overseas. He returned home with traumatic brain injury and PTS, including symptoms of anxiety, paranoia, and hypervigilance. Cory is graduating from Operation Full Circle with Opus, a black Labrador retriever who is trained to create a barrier around Cory in…

Tim Bedford and Facility Therapy Dog Irwin

Puppy Irwin is at Emerald Coast Behavioral Hospital, where Puppy Irwin visits the outpatient center, and also accompanies his handler on daily inpatient rounds including visits to veterans in their Military Resilience Program.  This program provides inpatient treatment for active, reserve and National Guard service members living with the effect of injuries from combat action,…

Brad Walker and Galaxy

Brad Walker and Galaxy

Teri Tope and Spencer

Teri Tope and Spencer

Robert Simich and Obie

Robert Simich and Obie

Norman J. Burgess & Benning

Norman J. Burgess & Benning

Norman J. Burgess & Benning is a 67-year-old Army Veteran suffering from combat-related PTSD due to the time he spent in Vietnam. After he had been out of the workforce for some time, his PTSD symptoms started to increase, at which time he sought help from the Veterans Administration. In addition to the PTSD, this…

Louijoel O. and Brooklyn

Louijoel O. and Brooklyn is another veteran that will be attending our June Team Training. He is a 36-year-old from Central Florida. He suffers from PTSD/TBI and has major anxiety and depression. He has a hard time trusting people and feels the companionship from someone who does not discriminate or judge over his disability would…

Ryan and Slate

Ryan & Slate

U.S. Navy veteran, Ryan Holman, suffered a traumatic brain injury while serving as a Corpsman with 1st Tank Battalion (USMC) in Iraq and has been diagnosed with PTS. Ryan, who works as Freedom Service Dog’s Volunteer Manager, graduated from FSD’s Operation Full Circle with Slate in June, 2019. Slate helps Ryan stay calm in stressful…

David Johnson

David Johnson & Guide Dog Loge

Tom and Norwin

Tom & Norwin

Tom is a U.S. Army veteran who served two tours in Iraq. He was matched with Norwin, a black Labrador retriever, through FSD’s Operation Full Circle program. Norwin assists Tom in public so that he can go more places with his children, and he also helps Tom sleep better by nudging him awake from the…

Chris and Noodle

Chris & Noodle

Chris, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who saw action in the first Gulf War, is the human half of Team Noodle. FSD’s Operation Full Circle program for veterans bonded these two into an inseparable team in which Chris provides love and care for Noodle, a boxer mix, and Noodle gives his Marine unconditional love and…

Eddie and Scrappy

Eddie & Scrappy

Eddie joined the U.S. Army in 1998 and at 25 years old, he became an elite U.S. Army Ranger who was deployed three times to Afghanistan and twice to Iraq for a total of 38 months. The retired veteran lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming, with his wife, a couple horses, and Scrappy, a Great Dane mix…

Shay & Tiptoe

Shay & Tiptoe

Shay served in the U.S. Navy for four years and has been diagnosed with PTSD. Through FSD’s Operation Full Circle program for veterans, she was placed with a calm, chill Labradoodle named Tiptoe who accompanies Shay in public to relieve her anxiety and panic disorder. Says Shay, “Tiptoe came into my life at the right…

A Veteran Helping Other Heroes

By Mary Hladky Although retired Air Force Lt. Col. Mel Pollack’s military service ended decades ago, his commitment to service and veterans has endured. Pollack was on his 78th combat mission flying an F-4 Phantom when he was shot down and captured by the North Vietnamese in 1967. He was imprisoned in the infamous “Hanoi…

Mark and Service Dog Larry

This article and the accompanying photographs has been reprinted from the PawPrintsGallery website from an article posted on Memorial Day, Sunday, May 30, 2010. A True Partnership I was honored to photograph Master Sergeant Mark and his dog, Larry. Larry was trained by an organization called America’s VetDogs and service dog to Mark. When Mark…

Chadd and Service Dog Chancie

Chadd has seen a fair share of traumatic events during his 16 year career in the military. After returning from his most recent deployments in Iraq and Kuwait he noticed that something wasn’t right. Chadd began to isolate himself from the rest of the world. At work at the Pentagon, Chadd was able to hide…

Adam and Service Dog Atlas

Adam joined the U.S. Army when he was 18-years old. During his years of service, Adam deployed to Kosovo (2000), Iraq (2005-2006) and Afghanistan (2008-2009). Traumatic experiences he endured range from engaging the enemy, losing close friends to war and also surviving an Improvised Explosive Devise blast as well as surviving a 107mm rocket attack…

Dustin and Service Dog Honors

Dustin serves with the U.S. Marine Corps and was injured during his first combat tour to Afghanistan in 2009 when an Improvised Explosive Device hit his convoy. As a result of the blast, Dustin suffers from severe Traumatic Brain Injury and has seizures. In August 2011 Dustin was successfully paired with a dog named Honors.…

Nell and Service Dog Dusk

Nell is an Army E-5 Sergeant. She suffers from PTSD and Respiratory ailment- “Deployment Induced Lung Disease”. Her service dog is Dusk, an almost 2yr old female black standard poodle. Dusk has been trained on many specialized tasks to help Nell. Dusk has been trained on block and post, which are commands that cause the…

Bruce the Therapy Dog

Michaun and Guide Dog Nico

Michaun has seen a lot in her life. As a respiratory therapist and member of the trauma team for the ICU in the Army, stationed stateside and abroad, she has seen much suffering. But now she is dealing with a loss of her own, that of her sight. After she contracted a resistant strain of…

Trista and Service Dog Crush

Trista is an active duty soldier. She has served in the United States Army for nine years and been deployed three times. Trista suffers from severe PTSD and, as a result, tends to isolate herself. She confessed that before she got matched with a service dog, she would take multiple anti-anxiety medications to go to…

Samantha and Service Dog Glory

Sam suffers from severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and prefers to not share her background with the public. However, she is happy to report that she was successfully matched with Glory, her service dog, in July 2012. Sam and Glory completed placement class the same weekend that Sam was retired from the Army. Since retiring…

Kenny and Service Dog Zeus

Zeus, a Ridgeback mix, was given a second chance at life. He was surrendered to a no kill shelter in Florida because his owner could not afford to keep him, and believed that a no kill shelter meant that they do not euthanize the dogs.When Zeus’ owner found out that his dog would have a…

Tracy and Therapy Dog Joe

Naval Health Branch Clinic – Andrews Air Force Base, MD As manager of one of the largest and most comprehensive clinics located at Andrews Air Force Base, overseeing the care of some of the most distinguished military personnel critical to national security, from Navy Seals to the pilots who run reconnaissance missions over Washington, D.C.,…

Dan and Service Dog Tracker

January 2013 Part of this story is taken from the Stennis News dated March 17, 2009 Navy Lt. j.g. Daniel, a Slidell, Louisiana native was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Joint Service Commendation Medal for his individual meritorious achievements during combat operations in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Daniel, a Navy Reserve…

Bud and Service Dog AJ

While serving in a Marine battalion at the “Tip of the Spear’ in Vietnam, Bud’s medical skills were equal only to his loyalty towards his fellow soldiers in the jungle. The recipient of two bronze stars and numerous other military decorations, Bud tried to reassemble his life upon his return to civilian life at the…

Bob and Service Dog Dillin

The recipient of many war time honors, the Purple Heart included, Bob paid dearly for those honors. Serving in the First Marine Division, stationed in Vietnam in 1969, Bob saw his share of horrors that could not be imagined by civilians in society today. Once a very social and outgoing individual, Bob’s world began to…

Cindy and Service Dog Skeeter

Cindy is a combat Veteran with PTSD and TBI. She has issues with anxiety in public as well as balance. Cindy had a service dog who passed away years ago and she has been hoping to find that sense of support and friendship with another dog. Skeeter has truly fit that bill! Skeeter helps Cindy…

James and Service Dog Tawney

James is a Veteran with PTSD who suffers from an exaggerated startle response that often keeps him from going in public. He received Tawney a few months ago and she is a huge help to him, getting him out for long walks and trips to the library. Tawney posts and blocks for James and also…

Kathleen and Service Dog Tatum

Kathleen is an Army Veteran with PTSD and severe Tendonitis in her hip. Her dog Tatum helps her with Brace and Balance, retrieving objects and opening heavy doors. They are working together wonderfully and Katie is so excited to have Tatum by her side!

Patrick and Service Dog Ripple

Patrick is a young Veteran who returned from overseas deployment with an extremely rare heart condition. Patrick suffers from seizures and fainting spells that are extremely debilitating and have caused him to fall down the stairs, breaking his collar bone. Patrick’s entire life changed with this diagnosis. He had to move back in with his…

Rick and Service Dog Chase

Rick is an Army veteran with combat experience. He has Bilateral degenerative bone disease in both legs. His service dog Chase helps retrieve objects, turn on the lights, retrieve a phone, and brace to get up. Chase has also helped Rick in her therapy practice, providing comfort for Rick’s Veteran clients!

Brooks and Service Dog Jordon

Brooks comes from a full house. He and his wife have three children and a fourth on the way. They’ll soon add a mellow, laid-back Goldador named Gordon to their growing family, and Gordon will fit right in. With over six years of active duty in the Army Airborne Infantry, including two deployments in Iraq…

Ryan and Service Dog Junee

Back home Ryan has avoided normal family activities, places where people and crowds cause a hyper-vigilant reaction. Now that he’s met an energetic black Labrador named Junee—his new Veteran Service Dog—he’s hoping for a better life. ‘I want to be able to go with my family, see what my kids are doing,’ he shares. Ryan’s…

John and Guide Dog Sukey

We are pleased to introduce Army Veteran John and his new Guide Dog Sukey. John and Sukey were teamed up in November of 2014. Sukey is Johns first Guide Dog. The pair gained confidence together as they trained on campus, in residential areas, shopping malls, and even city streets. John and Sukey bonded well, and…


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