Where did you serve and what did you do?
I participated in Operations Restore Hope (Somalia), Continue Hope (Somalia), Distant Runner (Rwanda), Quick Draw (Somalia), Southern Watch (Saudi Arabia), Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. I was a communicator with the Marine Corps.
Tell us how your dog is helping you continue #StillServing in your community.
My PTSD Service Dog “Mattis” is my buddy, he goes everywhere with me. I still have a full time job working for the Marine Corps as an Information Technology Service Manager (ITSM) for the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton. He helps me get through those days that are stressful at work. I am also the Post Commander for Charles E. Swisher Post 1924 in Fallbrook, CA. He attends all meetings and events with me. He is actually more famous in the Post and Community than I am (LOL). Knowing Mattis is there by my side I am able to give public speeches in the community, and handle the stress that come with being the Post Commander. Mattis lets me know when I need to take a break, or if something or someone has me riled up he engages to take my focus away to allow me to relax and do what needs to be done instead of having an anxiety or panic attack like I would before Mattis. He Loves to sit under the table at Buddy Poppy Drives. He has given me a 2nd chance at life to enjoy things I could not enjoy, and to be active in the community and lead the Post to great heights.
Why do you do it?
I believe in the VFW, I grew up in the VFW as my family was heavily involved. My Mom was Dept. of Michigan Ladies Auxiliary President. My Dad and Step Dad were both involved holding positions at the Post and District levels. I joined the Marine Corps after High School, and soon as I returned from Somalia I became a Member of Post 4090 in Portland, Michigan. I have a great love and admiration for the VFW and the National Home, I grew up with the kids at the National Home and even spent time at Camp Trotter with them during the summer. The VFW gives me a sense of purpose to serve my fellow Veterans and the Active Duty Service Men and Women.