Two Veterans and Their Service Dogs Take Journey to Raise Awareness an

Two Veterans and Their Service Dogs Take Journey to Raise Awareness and Funds

May 19, 2015

Two Veterans and Their Service Dogs Take Journey to Raise Awareness and Funds

Two U.S. military veterans and their service dogs are in the middle of a journey across America to help raise awareness and funds for a cause that hits close to home. Dan Spangler, a Marine veteran from North Carolina, and Joe Trainor, an Army Ranger veteran from Chicago, along with their dogs Spanky and C.T. are making the 6,000+ mile journey with the goal of helping military families and veterans keep their pets during times of financial hardship.

Both veterans credit their canine companions for saving their lives. And because they understand first-hand how important a role service dogs play in the lives of military vets, they want to help other veterans who need funds in order to keep their beloved pets when they run into hard financial times.

Stories of Veterans on 6,000 Mile Trek

Marine veteran Dan Spangler was injured in Iraq when he jumped from a truck during gunfire at a checkpoint. When Spangler returned home, he discovered he had been living with a hole in his hip for two months which would require extensive medical treatment. During that same year, the veteran decided to adopt a puppy from a local shelter.

He named him Spanky, and the dog became Dan’s loyal companion through months of medical treatment and years of painful recovery from his injuries. “I look back now and realize that he saved my life just by being there for me,” Dan said. “At the time, I didn’t realize it, but now I do. Spanky and I became best friends and he was there during all the hardships.” Dan is now a dog trainer and he founded the Dreamers Foundation, which benefits local animal rescue organizations.

Army Ranger veteran Joe Trainor, Jr., age 34, sustained traumatic brain injuries while on duty in Afghanistan in 2001, and is now going blind as a result. After returning from a second tour, Joe was suffering from PTSD, and in the midst of trying to transition to civilian life, he fell into a deep depression. At his lowest moment, a friend’s dog jumped into his lap and stopped him from committing suicide—literally saving his life.

“Talk about the power of the dog,” Joe said. “I wanted to end it all, but a pug jumped in my lap. That’s what stopped me.” That’s when Joe knew he wanted to make sure every veteran felt that same feeling at their point of vulnerability. Joe soon adopted his own dog and became the founder of 1Pet1Vet, an organization that pairs military veterans with dogs saved from the brink of euthanasia.

Operation Keep Your Spanky

According to the Keep Your Spanky website, "Dan wants every veteran to keep his Spanky. So he and Spanky are hitting the road for a 6,000+ mile nomadic journey across America to raise awareness and funds for “Operation: Keep Your Spanky” —a new program of Dan’s non-profit foundation to provide financial assistance to veterans to keep their beloved animal companions."

 

About Healing Heroes Network

Healing Heroes Network is a national 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Tragically since 9/11/01 we have lost over 6,000 of our American Soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan. Sadly, our injured Veterans are being forgotten as they return home. Healing Heroes Network provides financial assistance for medical treatment to these brave Heroes. You can show your support by helping Healing Heroes Network spread the word about our programs and participating in our call to action. Other Articles
Previous: Is it PTSD or is it Meflouquine?



6 Responses

Janell Conner
Janell Conner

February 22, 2016

If you make it to Maryland contact us! 443-949-1372

Christie Pitts
Christie Pitts

February 22, 2016

I think this is awesome! I wish there was some way I could help, unfortunately not able to financially! But you have my utmost respect and support! God bless and be with you through your journey!

JOHN ROCKEFELLER
JOHN ROCKEFELLER

February 22, 2016

We adopted NINA M644 RETIRED MWD. IF YOU GET TO COLORADO CONTACT ME.
spookygunner@peoplepc.com
Rock
Combat Vets Motorcycle Association

Veteran and Service Dog Denied Lodging | herogiveaways
Veteran and Service Dog Denied Lodging | herogiveaways

February 22, 2016

[…] even though the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Minnesota Human Rights Act state service dogs are not pets and are allowed in most public places, even if the business has a no-pet policy, the […]

Jill Brock
Jill Brock

February 22, 2016

PLEASE KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK AND GOD BLESS Y’ALL!

Doris Colegrove Lefever
Doris Colegrove Lefever

February 22, 2016

I want to help please get in touch
God bless you and your dogs

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.