Showing posts with label service dogs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label service dogs. Show all posts

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Vietnam Veteran learned to love again...from dog

Dog teaches Vietnam veteran to love again

Herald Tribune
Billy Cox
January 6, 2018

BRADENTON — On the bright afternoon of Feb. 4, 1970, a land mine tore apart a South Vietnamese soldier who stood maybe 10 feet away from Pfc. Bob Calderon, as the two were returning to a rural village from a joint patrol. 
Vietnam veteran Bob Calderon with his guide dog, Max, in his East Manatee neighborhood. (Herald Tribune staff photo Dan Wagner)
The spray of shrapnel knocked the 19-year-old Marine off his feet and forced surgeons to amputate his mangled legs above the knee. For the next several months, he was totally blind.
Calderon would regain vision in his right eye, then reassemble what was left into a portrait of resilience. He would graduate from a wheelchair into prosthetic limbs. He went to school on the G.I. bill, learned a trade and entered the workforce as a mechanical draftsman. He learned to play through the pain of embedded metal fragments so numerous he can’t take an MRI scan. He became a competitive wheelchair bowler, played wheelchair hoops, and traveled as far away as New Zealand to become the USA World 9-Ball Champion in a billiards tournament.
The Michigan native also had a way with the ladies. He married once, twice, three times. He attributes much of the failure of the first two to post-traumatic stress disorder, a diagnosis he didn’t get until some 15 years ago. But he fathered two kids. For a man who can make the literal claim that “half of me is still in Vietnam,” no shelf seemed too high.
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Saturday, December 30, 2017

Prisoners and puppies changing lives 4 paws at a time

Puppies Raised In Prison Go On To Help Disabled Veterans
David Desroches
December 29, 2017

Prisons have actually been training dogs since the 1980s. A Dominican nun is credited with  bringing the first training program to a Washington state prison back in 1981.

Jerrod Chapel working with his dog, Pete, teaching him how to fetch things for a future disabled veteran.DAVID DESROCHES / WNPR 
Inside Enfield Correctional Institution there are all the expected security measures: Huge steel doors. Armed guards. Barbed-wire fences. Locked gates.

But in one area of the prison, there's something a little different.

There's a room with a huge mural painted on the back wall. It shows men and women in army fatigues playing with dogs. One woman is in a wheelchair. Inside this room, there are all sorts of props built to mimic items in a home: a refrigerator; a portion of a wall with a light switch on it; a door -- literally a door to nowhere -- in the middle of the room, with a leash attached to a handle.

This room is where inmates train puppies to be service dogs for veterans.

One of the dogs Santiago got to train was Caspar, a big yellow lab, mixed with a little golden retriever. A few months ago, Caspar found a home with Bob Rapone. He's a Vietnam veteran who's been living with PTSD ever since he came home nearly 50 years ago.
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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Is that service dog a fake?

 Is that service dog a fake? Under federal law, you can’t even ask
Kansas City Star
Mark Davis
November 1, 2017

Fake service dogs are essentially untrained pets wearing vests or tags purchased online so Fido can tag along, too. They’ve become the bane of those who rely on trained service dogs to deal with disabilities.

The unleashed dog lunged from the woman’s lap and right at Andy, Michaela Chase’s dog.
“It was going for blood,” Chase said, thinking back to the narrow waiting room at her physical therapy gym in Lincoln, Neb. “It was in full attack mode.”
Shielded by Chase’s wheelchair, Andy avoided the other dog, which had a tag on its collar that said “service dog.” But though there was no fight, the damage was done.
“It really ruined Andy,” Chase said of her service dog trained by Paws for Freedom Inc. in Tonganoxie, Kan. Andy — the victim of a fake service dog, Chase said — now distrusts other dogs. He’ll even bark at other service dogs. 
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Saturday, September 9, 2017

Iraq Veteran and Service Dog Not Welcomed? Seriously!

Wounded veteran says California restaurant refused entry to dog

Fox News
Published September 08, 2017

A vision-impaired veteran claims he was wronged by a California restaurant after they refused to let his dog join him for dinner.

Readen Clavier, an Iraq War veteran who suffered head injuries when his vehicle was hit by an IUD in Balad, told KTVU that he was denied a meal at Inchin’s Bamboo in San Mateo because the employees didn’t want his comfort dog, Cole, sitting under the table.

“[They said] you can’t have a pet in here,” Clavier told KTVU. “I’m like, he’s not a pet, he’s a service animal.”

According to Clavier, the restaurant offered to seat him outside in a covered patio instead, but he simply opted to dine elsewhere.

KTVU reached out to the manager of the restaurant, who confirmed that Clavier and his dog were indeed offered a seat outside. He also says that he personally spoke with Clavier at the time of the incident, but suggested that Clavier didn’t actually need the dog for service reasons.

“He was speaking to me and to another lady,” said the Inchin’s manager. “And nobody was blind and everything [was recorded] on the camera."
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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Veterans "Emotional Support" Dog Bit Passenger?

Before everyone starts to think service dogs are to blame, we need to know who trained this dog!
NC veteran's support dog bites passenger on Delta Airlines flight
ABC 11 News
June 06, 2017

Mundy Jr., a veteran of the Marine Corps, was worried that his dog would be put down following the incident.
A passenger on board a Delta Airlines flight was mauled by an emotional support dog Sunday.

Marlin Jackson was described to be very bloody after the incident took place.

The owner of the dog, North Carolina resident Ronald Mundy Jr., and his dog were involved in the frightening episode moments before take-off.
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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Homeless Navy Veteran Feels Love from Community and Return of Elvis

Community helps homeless veteran locate missing medical alert dog
FOX7 News
Jennifer Kendall
May 27, 2017

When people in a Northwest Austin community found out a homeless veteran's medical alert dog was missing, they jumped into action. Within an hour they had posted fliers and put together a reward.
Doug Ferguson and his 7-year-old Golden retriever Elvis have quite a following in the area of Loop 360 and 2222. Doug said a series of events led him into a life on the street.

Three years after he started living out of his car, he got attacked and was left epileptic.

Doug applied for a medical alert dog through a Navy program and has spent every day for the last six years with Elvis. Until he woke up from a nap on Wednesday and his pup was nowhere to be found.

Thanks to the community who cares so much about the duo, word quickly spread on social media and a young girl, whose brother thought he had brought home a stray, returned the dog.
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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Combat PTSD Veteran Wins Battle For All Others With Service Dogs

St. Augustine veteran wins battle with major airline; immediate changes ordered
Florida Times Union
Julia Jenae
January 12, 2017
Veteran Sgt. Kevin Crowell and Bella are pictured. (First Coast News)
A St. Augustine combat veteran’s fight with an airline that forced him off a plane due to his service dog is bringing about change across the country, according to Times-Union news partner First Coast News.

The U.S. Department of Transportation released a consent order Monday, finding American Airlines violated the Aircraft Carrier Access Act by failing to properly train employees on disabled passengers with service animals. The order requires American Airlines to implement new training for all gate agents and reservation agents within 30 days.

Sgt. Kevin Crowell, a disabled combat veteran, filed his formal complaint against the carrier in 2014. Crowell was traveling to Key West with his wife along with his service dog, Bella.

According to the complaint, a flight attendant told him pets were not allowed in the bulkhead (front of plane), referring to his registered service animal. Despite having reserved an airline ticket online as a passenger with a service animal, an error in proper coding created a dispute on the flight. Crowell was asked to deboard the plane, an action his complaint said aggravated his post-traumatic stress disorder.
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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Soldier On Service Dogs Accused of Mistreatment and Selling Dogs

Soldier On Service Dogs Accused of Mistreatment and Selling Donated Dogs
NWA News
By Erika Hall
Published 12/05 2016

Arkansas has one of the highest per-capita veteran populations with an estimated 2,500 Arkansans in need of service dogs.

As of now there's no regulation when it comes to trainers, and no regulated certification for service dog teams.

KNWA News investigated how many inadequately trained dogs still carry the honored title.

In Fayetteville, Soldier on Service Dogs was recently accused of mistreatment and selling donated dogs.

"I mean I donated these dogs for free and I know that they took a donation or they sold the pups," animal breeder Rick Dodson said.

Dodson works in Tennessee, and donated five full-blooded German Shepherd pups valued at $1,500 a piece to Fayetteville's Soldier on Service Dogs non-profit, run by Angie Pratt.

After ten months of K-9 training with volunteer puppy handlers and trainers, the non-profit washed out all five dogs, meaning they were unfit to serve a veteran.
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Air Force Veteran Hired By Lowes, So Was His Dog!

This vet couldn’t work without his service dog. So Lowe’s hired them both.
Star Telegram
December 6, 2016
I love Abilene Lowes, way to go! This is a disabled vet who struggled to get a job because he needs his service dog! Lowes hired them BOTH!!
Clay Luthy’s bad knees have been operated on five times over the years, and they kept him from re-enlisting in the Air Force. He can’t bend his left one, and he has to go easy on his right.

But that’s why he has Charlotte, a 10-year-old golden retriever who also happens to be his co-worker at a Lowe’s store in Abilene.

The Abilene Reporter-News profiled Luthy and his service dog last month, but the duo turned famous over the weekend, when a Lowe’s shopper posted a Facebook photo of them standing together in the store.
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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Knicks End Veteran's 18 Month Wait for Service Dog

WATCH: New York Knicks surprise Army veteran with service dog
United States Army Retired Sergeant First Class Luciano Yulfo and Murphy will make quite the team
CBS Sports
Ananth Pandian
November 10, 2016
The New York Knicks may be having issues with the triangle offense and their defense but they are still making dreams come true.

During a break in action against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, the Knicks utilized the time by honoring United States Army Retired Sergeant First Class Luciano Yulfo, who served the country for 36 years. The Knicks presented Yulfo with a custom jersey and former All-Star Larry Johnson was on hand to thank the retired sergeant for his service. But then the Knicks made the moment even more special for Yulfo as they surprised him with a service dog, which he has been waiting to get for 18 months.
read more here

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Humane Society Hero Dogs Of Year

Hooch, an abused French mastiff, is Hero Dog of the Year
Associated Press
October 29, 2016

NEW YORK — The human nearly lost his life to drug and alcohol addiction. The dog, well, he nearly lost his life to humans.

A French mastiff named Hooch, rescued by Zach Skow in Tehachapi, California, is the 2016 American Humane organization's Hero Dog of the Year, bestowed in a Beverly Hills ceremony taped in September and broadcast Friday on the Hallmark Channel.

Hooch, among eight canine finalists, wore his best tuxedo collar, though he was reluctant to join Skow on stage.

Hosted by James Denton and Beth Stern, and featuring Dave Foley, Kym Johnson, Robert Herjavec, Marilu Henner and Greg Louganis, among other celebrities, this is the sixth year for the awards.
The other seven finalists for Hero Dog, all honored for their service, are:
• Law enforcement: Edo, a K-9 superstar with the Los Angeles Police Department, and handler Nhut Huynh. Edo, a Belgian malinois, was the first sent into a house where a shootout was underway. He pulled the armed man away from his weapon.

• Search and rescue: Kobuk, a German shepherd, and handler Elizabeth Fossett in York, Maine. He sniffed out an elderly woman with diabetes and dementia after she wandered off from a cabin in the wilderness.

• Service: Gander, a labradoodle rescue, and handler Lon Hodge. Hodge is an Army veteran in Great Lakes, Illinois, who suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and was once homebound for months at a time. The two are inseparable and travel the country helping others with disabilities. "Thank you for saving my life," Hodge told his beloved Gander on the show.

• Military: Layka, another Belgian malinois, and trainer/veteran Julian McDonald in Galena, Kansas. The dog lost a leg when she took fire while McDonald's Ranger unit was assaulting an enemy compound in Afghanistan. McDonald and his family adopted Layka.

• Arson: Judge and handler Lee Laubach Jr., fire chief in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Judge is a yellow Labrador who has worked more than 275 fire scenes and has found evidence leading to multiple arrests and civil penalties for insurance fraud.

• Hearing: Hook, a 12-pound, 10-year-old Chihuahua mix, and handler Joyce Herman. Herman, from Sacramento, California, is a hearing-impaired marriage and family therapist. He pulled Herman off some light train tracks as a train approached and once chased away a prowler in her office waiting room.

• Therapy: Mango, a paralyzed Cairn terrier rescue, and handler Judy Walter, a veteran in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Both dog and human had broken their backs. Mango uses a canine wheelchair to get around. "I healed her and she healed me," said Walter, who now routinely visits disabled vets with Mango.
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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Community Came Together To Help PTSD Service Dog

Maggie dies in the arms of a friend
Salisbury Post
Mark Wineka
August 11, 2016

SALISBURY — In about two days, Anna Jenkins will receive Maggie’s cremated remains. Back at her Salisbury apartment Wednesday afternoon, Jenkins began gathering all of Maggie’s stuff — the toys, beds, bowls, food, collars, leashes and the devices that helped her to walk.

Photo courtesy of Family Endeavors Law enforcement officers in Charlotte collected money toward a wagon for Anna Jenkins' service dog, Maggie. Maggie was put to sleep peacefully on Wednesday morning.
Jenkins plans on finding a place to donate these things. Otherwise, she was trying to get through the rest of the day without the service dog that had been — through some pretty tough times — her best friend since 2005.

“It’s strange,” Jenkins says. “I keep looking and expecting to see her and she’s not there.”

Maggie’s death came peacefully Wednesday morning.

“Her dying in my arms was a gift I could not imagine,” Anna Jenkins said.

In a column Tuesday, I had relayed Anna’s desperation in trying to pay for the euthanasia of Maggie, her 14 1/2-year-old chocolate Labrador and service dog. The prices she had been quoted from three different veterinary clinics for the euthanasia and cremation were too much for Anna to afford.
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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Comfort Dogs Arrive With ‘Unconditional Love’ in Orlando

In a Shaken Orlando, Comfort Dogs Arrive With ‘Unconditional Love’ 
New York Times 
JUNE 16, 2016

Melissa Soto with Susie, a comfort dog, on Tuesday near a memorial
site for the victims of the mass shooting in Orlando, Fla.
Credit John Taggart/European Pressphoto Agency
On the Monday following the Orlando massacre, 12 golden retrievers arrived in the Florida city.

They had come to offer comfort to some of the victims of the attack, the families of those killed and the emergency medical workers, as well as anyone else in the city in need of some canine affection after the deadliest shooting in American history.

The animals are part of the K-9 Comfort Dogs team, a program run by the Lutheran Church Charities, based in Northbrook, Ill. Founded in 2008, the team has comforted victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting.

Tim Hetzner, the president of the charity, said that the dogs in Orlando were helping to provide a feeling of safety, allowing those in distress to relax their guard and express their vulnerability during a difficult time.

“We’ve had a lot of people here that start petting the dog, and they break out crying,” he said.

The dogs and their 20 handlers have visited hospitals and churches, and attended vigils and memorial services.

On Wednesday, they visited some of the hospitalized victims and met with the staff of Pulse, the gay nightclub where the shooting occurred.
read more here

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Blind Veteran Marine Helps Give Other Veterans A New VIsion

Wounded warrior shares story in new motivational book
Bay News 9
By Cait McVey, Reporter
June 03, 2016
Retired Marine Michael Jernigan shares his story of recovery and re-discovery of purpose in a new book titled "Vision," which was released on Memorial Day at the Armed Forces History Museum in Largo.
A marine critically wounded in Iraq is now sharing his story of recovery and rebirth in a book, which was released recently at Largo's Armed Forces History Museum in Largo.

Retired Marine Michael Jernigan was serving in Iraq in 2004 when he was severely injured by a roadside bomb.

“I had shrapnel enter my right eye and exit my left eye,“ Jernigan said. “I had two fingers re-attached. My right hand was fully reconstructed. My left knee was fully reconstructed. I fractured my patellar and cut my femoral artery.”

After 30 surgeries, Jernigan’s physical recovery was nothing short of remarkable. But he said his mind went to a very dark place.

“I was a Marine without a mission," said Jernigan. "Without a mission, I had no purpose or sense of direction. So my goal at that point was to find a mission. And I realized at that point, I needed to go back to college.”

Jernigan went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in history from University of South Florida St. Petersburg in 2012. He now works as a motivational speaker for Southeastern Guide Dogs.
read more here

Jan 8, 2015
Marine Warrior Michael Jernigan shares his story of overcoming adversity.
In 2014, Jernigan completed HCC's Fellowship Program and since has launched into his professional speaking career. He's continued to serve his community by pioneering the Paws for Patriots Program as well as over 500 hours of community service with Honor Courage Commitment, Inc (HCC) in Dallas, TX.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

No One Stopped To Help Disabled Veteran in Wheelchair After Attempted Robbery?

Cops: Man tries to rob woman in wheelchair with service dog
Orlando Sentinel
Christal Hayes
March 30, 2016

Pawelski told authorities several vehicles passed her during the incident and no one stopped to help. She wheeled herself to a nearby CVS and called her fiancée.

CLERMONT— Sarah Pawelski was already having a bad day.

The 45-year-old's vehicle had broken down along Citrus Tower Boulevard about noon March 22 and she was forced to use her wheelchair to get to the nearest business. That's when things got worse —a man in a car that stopped ostensibly to help attempted to snatch her purse.

Discussing the experience today, Pawelski said she was recently diagnosed with reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome, a painful and rare disorder that affected her ability to walk. She said she is also an Army veteran who suffers from severe post-traumatic stress syndrome.

"I don't want to think about it at all. This whole thing has really brought my PTSD to a max and I keep having nightmares and can't sleep because of what this punk decided to do," she said.
read more here

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Texas Veterans With Service Dogs Still Not Welcomed?

Woman says company refused to allow service dog
Killeen Daily Herald
Clay Thorp | Herald staff writer
February 8, 2016

When Kimberly Pearson retired from the Army in 2012 after serving in Iraq as a combat medic, she said she made the decision to enlist the help of a large breed of service dog to help her with balance and pain in her legs after suffering injuries in a 2004 ambush.
Eric J. Shelton | Herald
Kimberly Pearson gives her service dog Zakhar, a Caucasian Ovcharka, a kiss Monday at Mickey's Dog Park on W.S. Young Drive in Killeen. Pearson was denied entry into Palm Harbor because of her service dog.
“Basically, there was an ambush and lots of explosions,” Pearson said. “My feet and legs received injuries that needed six surgeries so far. And they’re not quite done with the surgeries, so I still have a lot of issues with pain and imbalance. It was just a mess. I was the medic. Instead of running away, I ran in and I kind of paid for it.”

Soon after, Pearson special ordered her new Russian Bear dog from Romania, as she said breeders there are known for raising mild-mannered giants.

But on Monday, Pearson said she and her service dog, Zakhar — who weighs 150 pounds — were denied access to Palm Harbor Homes, a local home store where Pearson wanted to look at model homes.

“It’s a very large dog because I use him for balance,” Pearson said of her 1-year-old dog.

“So, he’s large and he scares people, even though he’s a teddy bear. People just look at him and he scares them.”

Pearson said the employees at Palm Harbor simply wouldn’t allow them inside any model homes.

A similar incident in July occurred at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Harker Heights.

Dave Alvarado, 39, went to the retail store to buy a few items July 10, right after he finished a counseling session for his PTSD, which he said he developed during two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.
read more here

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Veteran's Therapy Dog Also Groom's Best "Man"

Wounded Veteran's Therapy Dog Serves as Best Man at Wedding 
ABC News
By Will Ganss
Oct 5, 2015
This past weekend, Gabe had his paws full with an entirely new slew of responsibilities, serving as the best man in Lansford’s wedding to longtime girlfriend, Carol Balmes.

U.S. Army veteran Justin Lansford tied the knot with longtime girlfriend
Carol Balmes with his canine companion, Gabe, at his side.
It's been quite a journey for U.S. Army veteran Justin Lansford and his canine companion, Gabe. In 2012, Lansford lost his left leg in an IED explosion in Afghanistan.

"I was a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division and we were in eastern Afghanistan in early 2012," he told Lara Spencer in 2014. "We struck an IED and it flipped my truck completely. I had bilaterally severed femurs which resulted in the amputation of my left leg."
read more here
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Saturday, October 3, 2015

Florida Iraq Veteran With Service Dog Got Boot From Nerw York Tavern on the Green

Iraq vet: Tavern on the Green booted me over my service dog 
New York Post
By Julia Marsh
October 3, 2015
Tavern on the Green Photo: Robert Miller
Tavern on the Green refused to serve an Iraq war veteran who brought along her service dog — saying it allows only dogs that accompany blind people, according to a new lawsuit.

Florida resident Yvette Coley made reservations at the Central Park landmark for herself, her mother and two daughters. But when she showed up with her pooch Goldie they were turned away, according to the Manhattan Supreme Court suit.
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Monday, August 17, 2015

VA Rules Change Clear Service Dogs

VA Announces New Rules Regarding Service Animals in VA Facilities
Department of Veterans Affairs

WASHINGTON – Today the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it has revised its regulation regarding the presence of animals on VA property. The updated regulation will ensure VA practices remain consistent with applicable federal law. It will also assist individuals entering VA facilities in developing a clear and consistent understanding of the criteria governing facility access for service animals.

“As I have traveled to VA facilities throughout the country, I have heard from many Veterans about what a vital role their service animals play in their lives,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald.

“The revised regulation will ensure Veterans and employees have clear guidance regarding the presence of service animals in our facilities. VA remains committed to ensuring America’s Veterans have access to the health care benefits for which they are eligible."

Under the revised regulation, only dogs that are individually trained to perform work or tasks on behalf of an individual with a disability will be considered service animals.

Other animals will not be permitted in VA facilities, unless expressly allowed as an exception under the regulation for activities such as animal-assisted therapy or for other reasons such as law enforcement purposes.

The regulation further confirms that service animals may access VA property subject to the same terms that govern the admission of the public to VA property, and may be restricted from certain areas on VA properties to ensure that patient care, patient safety, and infection control standards are not compromised.

In accordance with required practices, the revised regulation was published in the Federal Register in November 2014, to obtain feedback from Veterans, advocacy organizations and other stakeholders. Over the next thirty days, VA will provide training to frontline employees and ensure policies at all facilities are consistent with the new regulation.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Independence Lost For Soldier, Wounded Veteran Regained It With Service Dog

Wounded L.I. Veteran Commemorates Harrowing Anniversary On July 4, Plows Ahead 
CBS New York
Carolyn Gusoff
July 3, 2015
July 4, 2005, as America celebrated independence, Cila — on a mission in Baghdad — lost a part of his own.
RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — This Fourth of July weekend holds special meeting for a Long Island veteran, who was observing the tenth anniversary of injuries that nearly killed him in Iraq.

As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported Friday, Sam Cila has a canine friend who has helped him through his inspirational recovery.

For Cila, Independence Day is personal.

“It was a day that did change things for me a lot for me,” he said.

Motivated by the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Cila left his Long Island family — placing himself in harm’s way….

“He said: ‘Hey, I’m going to do something about it. I’m going to join the military,” said his wife, Anna Cila.

And thus, Sam Cila joined the fight against terrorism.

“Why not me?” he said. “If it’s good enough – if someone else’s son should do it, then so should I,” he said.

But on July 4, 2005, as America celebrated independence, Cila — on a mission in Baghdad — lost a part of his own.

“The enemy unleashed a bomb, and took off most of my left arm, my bicep, my tricep,” he said.
According to the Congressional Research Service, more than 1,500 members of the military have lost limbs in amputations since Sept. 11, 2001.
read more here