Where did you serve and what did you do?
US Navy 1966 – 1971…E-5 Hospital Corpsman (HM2). I served at the Naval Hospital, San Diego, CA on a Surgery Ward…then at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD for Physical Therapy School…then the Naval Hospital Oakland, CA in the Physical Therapy Department…then at the Naval Station Hospital, DaNang, Vietnam (’69-’70)…then back to Naval Hospital Oakland, CA in the Physical Therapy Department.
Tell us how your dog is helping you continue #StillServing in your community.
We have volunteered at the Oregon Veterans Home in Lebanon, OR since September, 2018 doing Pet Therapy Visits there for the Veteran Residents and Staff. I started with “Ike”, a 165 pound Landseer ECT…a European breed of dog developed in the early 1700’s when they bred Newfoundland and Great Pyrenees together. Then when she became old enough and certified, I added “Lucy” (Ike’s younger step-sister) to the visits, alternating one dog each Wednesday. Ike has passed, but Lucy (150 pounds) continues weekly.
Why do you do it?
My Veteran Brothers & Sisters (and Spouses of Veterans as well…154 souls at peak capacity) are in this care facility because they are no longer able to care for themselves independently. It is a great facility with an amazingly great Staff, but it isn’t “home”. The joy Lucy brings to all is a blessing, and it is my privilege and honor to share in this experience. The only reason I have responded to this VFW request for such stories is to encourage others to try to do what you can to give back to your community and to support our fellow Veterans. The photo I share shows Lucy & me outside a Veteran Resident’s window in the rain December 2020…we were soaked! We could not go inside when COVID hit, so we visited from outside every week…rain/snow/sun…walking around the facility interacting through the windows as best we could. We are back inside again, and able to visit weekly up close and personal with our friends.