September 11, 2023
For One Horrified Moment, We Stood Alone. Now We Don’t Have To.
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
August 1, 2023
I Wasn’t Looking for Another Service Dog. That’s When I Found One.
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
June 30, 2023
My Service Dog Gave Me the Freedom to Celebrate What We Fought For
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
June 25, 2023
War Doesn’t End Because We Can’t Return to the Before Times. But That Doesn’t Mean There Isn’t Hope.
“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
February 1, 2023
Hidden Wounds Take Longest to Heal: Remembering Brad Pierce
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
June 26, 2022
Want to enjoy the freedoms our military fought for? Help those who serve at home.
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
January 24, 2022
When seizures sidelined a service dog, she found an even higher purpose
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
September 22, 2021
It’s not OK to pet a wheelchair. And it’s not OK to pet a service dog.
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
June 13, 2021
A new service dog at the office? It’s everybody’s job to make it work.
Steve waited until he got home to look inside an envelope a coworker handed him on her last day before retirement. She’d cried when she said goodbye to Steve and his service dog, Mohawk, he recalled as he opened it. Inside, he found a card with a... Read More
May 5, 2021
Dogs offer healing. During Nurse’s Week, Maggie is doing just that.
Maggie didn’t expect to be a front-line worker during a pandemic. And yet, maybe it was destiny. She was born Margaret “Hotlips” Houlihan after all, and very much like her namesake from M*A*S*H, the 3-year-old white Labrador retriever... Read More