Operation Warrior Shield announced today that they have delivered their first two (2) companion dogs to two (2) Marines who were seriously wounded from the Iraq/Afghanistan war.
In partnership with Doris Day Animal Foundation, Hope For Heroes and the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, OWS’ goal is providing uniquely trained, loving and supportive canine companions to veterans, first responders and their families who live with physical and emotional injuries sustained in the line of duty.
The 1966 Marine Vietnam Veteran, CMSgt (Ret.) Edward Schloeman, President and CEO of Operation Warrior Shield stated: “Our companion dogs unconditionally bring a sense of safety, camaraderie, and most importantly, a special emotional support that helps minimize stress and challenges that our heroes face each and every day.”
“Our goal is to provide uniquely trained, loving and supportive canine companions to veterans and first responders and their families who live with physical and emotional injuries incurred in the line of duty,” explains Schloeman. “Our companion dogs unconditionally bring a sense of safety, camaraderie, and most importantly, a special emotional support that helps reduce the stresses and challenges that our heroes face each and every day.”
The Labrador retriever puppies are YELLIN and LOUIE. One is named “Yellin” (after the late WWII pilot and OWS co-founder, Jerry Yellin) and the other is “Louie” (named after the late 106-year old WWII veteran, Louis Forte).
Both dogs were trained by Hope for Heroes dog trainers, Mitch Serlin and Matt Notaro. “We start with 8 week old puppies, and socialize them with various stimuli such as traffic, loud sounds, crowds, public transportation, and the like, keeping in mind the specific lifestyle and activities of the recipient vet and family,” explains Serlin. “Then we set up a bonding period for the puppy and family.
Matt delivered Yellin to Marine Sgt. David Tupper, and his family, at their home in North Carolina and Mitch delivered Louie to Marine Sgt. Carlos Figueroa in his home in Texas.
OWS’ next project is a fund raiser at the Palm Beach Gardens PGA National Golf Course with golf legend Chi Chi Rodriguez, on April 2nd
If anyone wishes to support OWS, they can donate online at www.operationwarriorshield.com or mail a check to: 59 East 2nd Street Brooklyn NY 11218
OWS supports veterans, first responders and their families with various wellness programs (Yoga-Transcendental Meditation, Individual Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (ITMS), etc.) and companion dogs to help those suffering from PTSD. They have been recognized for their work by many organizations such as NYPD, NYC Dept. of Veterans Services, David Lynch Foundation, Brooklyn Borough President, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce , WABC and others.