I had a 20-year United States Air Force career as an airborne linguist and program manager that culminated as an advisor and mentor at the Air Force Academy where I retired as a Chief Master Sergeant. I went on to a second five-year career as an Oracle database professional concentrating in the performance tuning area.
Starting in 2003, I devoted my life to the assistance dog community, with an emphasis on serving military veterans, especially wounded warriors, to include being a past member of the Veterans Task Force, volunteer, and puppy raiser at a major service dog organization. I wrote and did a podcast about assistance dogs on this site for nine years from March 2009 until April 2018.
While service dogs will always be a huge part of my life, honestly, my heart’s just not in it anymore. There are very valid and specific reasons for that, and I’ve addressed those concerns here many times. But I’m really tired of talking about why I’ve become so disillusioned with the service dog community, and think it’s best to just let things go. With that and moving forward in mind, I archived all of the blog and podcast content here in May 2018.
I’ll give you a hint, though – start here. The latest 2018 annual American Community Survey from the Census Bureau says there are almost 41 million people with some kind of physical disability in the US, and 92 percent of them are 18 or over – 92 percent. Take a look at the service dog placements from the top organizations, especially the by-far biggest one, and see if they come anywhere close to reflecting that, both by age and reason for the placement. Not just the people the dogs are placed with, but who they actually serve, because many times those two things are not the same, and that distinction is crucial. Might be very eye-opening for you.
I recently completed the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management with Emphasis in Fundraising and Philanthropy from the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University and am interested in finding the right place to use all that knowledge and have a meaningful impact on people’s lives.
What’s most important to me is building integrity and leadership, and that has to be the core focus of anything I do.
We relocated to Central Texas from Colorado five years ago and live near the geographic center of the state at the intersection of three major US highways with quick and direct access to the vast majority of the population of Texas and the rest of the US as well.