No secret that Dean Koontz is a huge Canine Companions for Independence supporter. I was flipping channels a couple nights ago and bumped into him doing this excellent recent interview on EWTN (aka The Catholic Channel – that’s what I call it, anyway). News to me – I hadn’t heard about the interview before, so thought it might be news to others as well, and so I’m posting it here.
The interview is an hour long and he mostly talks about things he’s discussed many times … Read More
Super new video where Kimi Yokota, her mother Aimee, and wounded veteran Steve Blackman talk about his Canine Companions for Independence service dog Gottlieb, who the Yokotas raised, and what that’s meant to all of them.
I’ve written about Steve and Gottlieb a number of times before, but haven’t really said anything about his injuries and what Gottlieb does for him. Steve movingly talks about both those things in the video, and how thankful he is to have him.
The video was done in part as a thank you … Read More
At the U.S. Naval Academy’s 2012 Graduation Ceremony yesterday, the entire faculty, staff, and all the graduating midshipmen stood up for the one man who could not. Kevin Hillery became the first paraplegic to graduate from the institution, when he accepted his diploma from Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta. “Naval Academy Graduation: Making History”
Big milestone event last week at DFW – Defenders of Freedom has greeted over 400,000 military people arriving there for mid-tour leaves during deployments since 2004, and Wednesday marked the final flight
Lotta well-known people were there including Medal of Honor recipient Sal Giunta (whose great speech to the crowd is at the end of the video below), Sergeant Major of The Army Raymond Chandler, and several Tuskegee Airmen.
Some not-so-well-known names were there, too, including wounded warrior and recent Canine Companions for Independence Southwest Region graduate Steve Blackman and … Read More
I didn’t write about this one back when it happened three weeks ago because I didn’t want to, honestly. It’s a horrible story and I figured the service dog world would explode over it, plenty of others would say something, anyway, and I wouldn’t need to.
But, while there has been a little discussion (most interestingly here and here), I haven’t really seen that happen, so I’m gonna add my little voice and mention it because this story simply cannot just vanish.
I’ve said for a long time that Facility Dogs are the Rodney Dangerfield of the Canine Companions for Independence world, and, in my experience, even most associated with CCI aren’t really aware of the wide variety of things they do.
I know I sure didn’t give them the respect they deserve initially, and that was largely because every time I heard them being brought up, it was as a means to an end, specifically in military hospitals, of educating patients about applying for service dogs. Now that’s certainly a great … Read More
Very good TEDx Talk video here from Jonathan Kuniholm, a retired Marine OIF veteran who lost his right arm to an IED and is very involved with advanced prosthetics work. (Can’t say I know Jonathan well, although I did actually have the pleasure of talking to him on the phone last year.)
Unlike many, I can’t really say I’ve lost close friends in combat, and, truthfully, I hope it stays that way. But, even so, seems like the older I get, the more the emotion of days like Memorial Day really gets to me. Maybe it’s just the sheer volume of things that get posted online now, or just getting older, or both, I don’t know.
All I know is seeing these two videos with Bobby Henline… … Read More
I'm very active with Canine Companions for Independence as a volunteer, to include being a past member of the Veterans Task Force and puppy raiser. Retired as a US Air Force Chief Master Sergeant after a 20-year career as an airborne Russian and Vietnamese linguist with my last assignments at the Air Force Academy as Fourth Group Sergeant Major and Dean of Faculty Superintendent. Actively looking for a paid position performing these functions or other similar meaningful work. More...