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Help Us Name Olive’s Puppies

A Navy Corpsman was deployed to the Role 3 Multi-National Medical Unit in Kandahar, Afghanistan. During his seven month deployment he treated more patients suffering from severe combat trauma than most Corpsman would in their whole career. The hospital staff had to endure any and all conditions while caring for the gravely wounded, even remaining exposed during rocket and mortar attacks because patient care was always top priority. He finished his tour and rotated back to the United States to return to work at a military hospital. The loss of friends and the impact of witnessing so much pain, suffering and death in the theatre of war had left scars that were invisible on the outside. He performed his duties in caring for service members and their families in the hospital, even though he struggled personally with sleep problems, isolation, and depression. During this difficult time, he was introduced to a therapy dog in the hospital. The dog had an extraordinary calming effect on him as he watched the German Shepherd’s amazing capacity to comfort patients in his clinic. He then came to the realization that he wanted to further his career as a healer after learning about the Warrior Canine Connection program, an intervention that teaches Warriors with Post Traumatic Stress to train service dogs for fellow Veterans. Warrior Canine Connection’s Executive Director saw the passion in this young Veteran and recognizing his drive to help fellow Warriors, offered him a scholarship to attend a service dog-training academy. After completing almost 7 years of honorable service in the United States Navy, he now works as a service dog instructor, teaching returning Wounded Warriors how to train dogs to help fellow Veterans. When presented with the task of naming his first puppy in training, he chose to name the puppy “Lundy” in honor of a fellow Corpsman and close friend who had been killed in action in Afghanistan.

As we prepare to name Olive’s nine puppies, we wish to honor the service of brave men and women who sacrifice so much, and sometimes their own lives, to keep us safe and our Nation strong. We would love to hear about Active Duty Service Members, Veterans, and military heroes who are no longer among us, who have inspired you by their service. Please provide your thoughts about them in a few paragraphs, along with either their first or last name (or nickname) that you believe appropriate for one of the pups in Olive’s “Honor Litter.” In order to protect the privacy of the Service Members and Veterans, please do not post their full names. Please submit your nominations by Friday, June 28, 2013. All entries should be posted in the comments section of this blog post. There is no limit to the number of inspiring military heroes you may wish to honor. The names of Olive’s six boys and three girls will be announced the week of July 1st .