WWII Vet Works to Get Service Dogs for Wounded Warriors

Postby Marinepits » July 28th, 2009, 7:11 am

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,534 ... latestnews

WWII Vet Doggedly Works to Get Canine Service Dogs for Wounded Warriors

MIAMI — No one knows first hand the horrors of war more than World War II hero Irwin Stovroff.

That's why when Stovroff — who was held for one year in a Nazi POW camp before being freed by allied forces — learned that the U.S. government didn't supply service dogs for wounded soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, the 85 year old decorated hero from Boca Raton, Fla. made it his mission to overhaul the policy.

"It is a shame." Stovroff says about the lack of an official federal program that pairs up battle-injured veterans with guide and therapy animals that can greatly improve their rehabilitation. "I wanted to do something about it."

Stovroff has raised nearly $2 million dollars to help train and match up service canines with wounded combat vets. Stovroff is also pushing lawmakers for federal funding to finance the program that he says has received lots of bi-partisan praise.

Stovroff is not someone who shirks away from a tough mission.

Stovroff is not just a World War II vet, but a Distinguished Flying Cross recipient whose own personal tale reads like a Hollywood movie.

After Stovroff was shot down behind enemy German lines on his 35th bombing flight, he had to hide his Jewish faith from his captors to survive, even throwing away his dog tags before his plane crashed.

His latest mission is to bring awareness and support.

"The dog can become his eyes. He can become his legs. He can bring him anything he needs." Stovroff told Fox News with his golden retriever, Cash, lying by his side. "A dog is probably the best thing that can happen to these soldiers."

Stovroff says that the dogs help the injured soldiers, not just in a functional way, but therapeutically.

"They need a guide (but) they need the help and love of a dog as well," he says, petting Cash.

"Benjamin is awesome," says Navy veteran Joseph Worley about his golden retriever.

Worley who lost most of his left leg, and severely injured his right one in a 2004 roadside bomb in Fallujah, Iraq says that his service dog is much more than a pet, but a “vital” support system.

"He braces to help me stand up. He brings me my shoe when I put my prosthetic on. He stabilizes me when I walk," Worley says.

However, it can be expensive to train these canines. Costs to train a service dog can run between $30,000 to $50,000 per dog, Stovroff explains, the reason behind his lobbying Congress for extra help.

But his efforts are beginning to pay off. Earlier this month, Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.) introduced legislation to help train guide dogs and other service animals for wounded veterans.

According to a release by Klein’s office, The Wounded Warrior K-9 Corps Act would establish a grant program for organizations that provide wounded warriors and disabled veterans with service animals. On the Senate side, their newest member Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) has also put out a similar bill.

For wounded warriors this means not just a lifeline, but a friend.

“He is a completely trust-worthy companion that does not judge anything. He is willing to help you, and its entire life is based off making you happy,” says Worley.
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Postby TheRedQueen » July 28th, 2009, 8:14 am

"It is a shame." Stovroff says about the lack of an official federal program that pairs up battle-injured veterans with guide and therapy animals that can greatly improve their rehabilitation. "I wanted to do something about it."


And I wonder why no one can ever get the terminology right. I see what he's saying, because Therapy dogs *can* help with rehab...but lumping all Assistance Dogs under the label "guide"... :cuss:

Okay, off my soapbox now. :smileUp:

This is a great thing...and our organization is looking into how we can help...since we're so close to DC. :) So far though, I don't think we've had a single Vet apply for a dog from us... :|
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Postby Marinepits » October 27th, 2009, 12:05 pm

:bump:

Just received an email about this organization:

http://www.guidedog.org/Vetdogs/Giving/cfc.htm

Workplace Giving

America’s VetDogs participates in the Combined Federal Campaign. Through the CFC and workplace giving, it’s easier than ever to support us.

Federal government employees can sign up through the Combined Federal Campaign, which is the world’s largest and most successful annual workplace charity campaign, which raises millions of dollars each year. Our CFC number is 81344.

There are also similar campaigns for state and local government employees, and many corporations offer matching gift or other workplace giving programs.

When you choose payroll deduction to support our efforts, you simply specify the amount you want to give and your payroll department takes care of the rest, giving you a tax receipt for your records.

Many employers have matching gift programs to encourage charitable giving by their employees; in these programs, a company matches your donation to a charity. It may also have programs where it awards grants to organizations where employees volunteer – this support is a great way for a company to show its commitment to social responsibility and the greater good.

Recurring gifts are also a wonderful way to support our work. You can make regular (weekly, monthly, quarterly) contributions from your credit card or checking account, and easily cancel if your plans change. Contact our Development Office (631-930-9050) for more information on how to set up a recurring gift.


Combined Federal Campaign
All federal government employees, civilian and military, can use the Combined Federal Campaign to make direct contributions to America’s VetDogs. We also participate in many state and local government and United Way campaigns.

If we are not listed, please designate the organization as: America’s VetDogs, Inc., 371 East Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown, NY 11787.

If you are uncertain how to name us as your preference for your donation, or if you’d like to establish a workplace giving campaign in your office, please call our Development Office at 631-930-9050.

We rely entirely on the generous support of our donors to help us change lives.

To find America’s VetDogs in your campaign brochure, refer to “America’s VetDogs.”

If there is no index, check:

Campaign: Combined Federal Campaign
Federation: Human Service Charities of America
Number: 81344

Campaign: State/Local Government Employees
Federation: Neighbor to Nation or Unaffiliated Agencies
Number: Varies

Campaign: United Way or Corporate
Federation: Neighbor to Nation, Human Services Charities of America or Unaffiliated Agencies
Number: Varies
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » October 27th, 2009, 2:26 pm

For this year's Combined Cheritable Campaign (our workplace charity thing), one of the organizations I chose was one that provides service dogs to vets. Can't remember the name of it. :)
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