Andrew and I called ourselves “nub buddies.” We met at Walter Reed around the time we both received our prosthetics. After more than a year of limb salvage, endless doctor appointments, and a mountain of pills, the doctors decided to amputate,... Read More
By Christopher Bowers
Hidden wounds take the longest to heal. Of course, we know this. It’s why we founded Leashes of Valor more than six years ago. But knowing a thing — being certain of it — cannot prepare you for losing a friend to the... Read More
By Jason Haag
Turn on the TV.
It was barely 6 a.m. on the West Coast when the phone shattered the early morning quiet—Dad calling from back home in Virginia.
I’d just come off a 48-hour shift at Camp Pendleton, my first duty station as a... Read More
For years, my service dog Axel rarely left my side. Whether taking a quick trip to the gas station or boarding a plane bound for halfway across the country, Axel was there, a steady and steadfast presence who often recognized my symptoms of... Read More
The year I turned seven stands out as my most memorable childhood birthday. I was afflicted with chickenpox—a hard thing to forget. I remember running around outside my grandparents’ house on the Patuxent River in an oversized T-shirt with... Read More
“Only the dead have seen the end of war,” General Douglas MacArthur famously said in a speech at West Point nearly a decade and a half after the Allies defeated the Nazis.
Although the quote’s origins are still debated—maybe Plato said it... Read More
Hidden wounds take the longest to heal. Of course, we know this. It’s why we founded Leashes of Valor nearly six years ago. But knowing a thing—being certain of it—cannot prepare you for losing a friend to the unseen wounds of war we talk so... Read More
In the beginning, there were the first responders.
Before the U.S. bombing campaign against the Taliban, before American troops put boots on the ground in Afghanistan, they were there, racing toward mammoth buildings besieged by burning jet... Read More
Some dogs are born to heal. We knew soon after meeting Victory that she was one of them. At just a few months old, the doe-eyed Labrador already showed qualities we look for in a service dog. She was gentle and smart and perceptive, and these traits... Read More
Until Richard met his service dog, Carrie, he rarely ventured into a store alone.
He’d lived with symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder for years: Vivid nightmares. Anxiety. The inability to make simple decisions. Anger. “If I felt like... Read More
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