Where did you serve and what did you do?
I was in the US NAVY for 12 years, served 4 years on Submarines. Had a lung operation and was disqualified form submarines. The last few years I served on different classes of targets, including my final tour on the USS Long Beach, CGN9. I was a Chief Electric Warfare until 1997 when I got out.
Tell us how your dog is helping you continue #StillServing in your community.
I was in the US Navy and served in the Blue Water Navy of Vietnam. My dog’s name is Rocky McNabb Henson and has been a service dog for me in a very unique way. I left the Navy in 1997 and began a civilian life. In late August 2011, I adopted Rocky because I was having many problems, some related to the military. I worked in the greater Los Angeles area for 35 years. After retiring I started volunteering at many animal services, including the Woods Humane Society in San Luis Obispo, California. There I adopted Rocky who began helping me almost immediately. First, he had me quit smoking. He also introduced me to full time volunteering and multiple veteran organizations. Having driven in Los Angeles traffic, I had some other bad habits that Rocky helped me change. He and I started volunteering opportunities, including the Humane Society at birthday parties, and socializing with other dogs at the Humane Society. Moving to Nevada, he and I would go to three (3) Senior centers facilities and worked with Memory Care Units on a weekly basis. Some of the most amazing events occurred during those years at the senior center facilities. But we also helped other veterans volunteer, with all the activities given by the Elementary schools. The kids all loved him, and he helped them. Almost every child smiled upon meeting Rocky. One child was frightened of dogs, and we turned that around within minutes. Even today, children love him I have a Coastguard veteran whose granddaughter will lay down beside Rocky and pet him, which I should get on camera. The site is amazing to see.
I will lose him soon, but will love him forever, and that is going to be the saddest day of my life, even though I have another dog Rocky has trained, to follow in Rocky’s footprints.
Why do you do it?
Because Rocky has always love his activities and I love him.