I had a 20-year United States Air Force career as a 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.
Since 2003, I’ve 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 9 years from March 2009 until April 2018.
While assistance dogs will always be a huge part of my life, I think it’s probably time to move on to something else. The assistance dog world is evolving in ways I’m not wild about, most notably in moving away from serving its traditional constituencies.
If I’m an adult with serious physical issues, how many service dog places are there that can really serve that need? Not that many, and we have a responsibility to serve the constituencies out there not just effectively, but efficiently. More dogs by itself is not enough – organizations have to serve their highest need, and there has got to be a better match between available resources that are finite and the need that we’re serving.
For me to remain as involved as I’ve been, I’d have to be able to influence the service dog community’s overall direction in that area as well as standards and education, critical needs which remain unmet. And that’s something I simply haven’t been able to do. With that and moving forward in mind, I recently archived all of the blog and podcast content here (although the podcasts are still available from a number of sites if you do a search).
On a larger level, I completed the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University in December 2017 and am actively looking for 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 three 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.