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Even The Devil Can't Fool A Dog - Part 7

A critical care nurse and veteran’s daughter named Meribeth Russell started Freedom Dogs in 2006.

Russell got the idea when she participated in a hospital study that found obese children who were able to bond with a therapy dog had an easier time losing weight.

Russell decided to translate that study into something that could help the disabled veterans returning from Iraq. She pleaded with the leadership at Camp ...

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Even The Devil Can't Fool A Dog - Part 6

Without the distractions of combat, symptoms of PTSD began plaguing Carlos’s everyday life. He began to drink heavily to blot out the depression and anxiety he was feeling.

And the guilt.

When Carlos was in Iraq, he didn’t know the villagers were mostly uneducated and illiterate. The Iraqis traveling the road it was his job to protect couldn’t read the signs posted by the American military.

The ...

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Even The Devil Can't Fool A Dog - Part 5

In the days following the suicide car bombing in 2004, Carlos didn’t feel angry. He didn’t feel frightened. He didn’t even mourn the men who were so brutally killed that day. Carlos didn’t feel anything at all. He was completely numb.

He learned to detach himself from his own well-being. He accepted what he assumed was his impending death; it was clear to him he would ...

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Even The Devil Can't Fool A Dog - Part 4

There was a shyness about Carlos, despite his intimidating appearance. Muscles earned from years of required physical fitness bulge under his black shirt, his sleeves pushed up to his elbows to reveal a maze of tattoos covering both of his forearms.

Shiny rhinestones rested in each of his earlobes, and a steal post pierced the area below his lower lip.

Carlos nodded bashfully, and greeted me in a quiet voice ...

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Even The Devil Can't Fool A Dog - Part 2

“A man, well, he'll walk right into Hell with both eyes open. But even the devil can't fool a dog.” -Earl Hamner, Jr.


PART II

The Mercedes, filled with what turned out to be 200 pounds of explosives, smashed into the Humvee. The blast incinerated both vehicles. The only part of the Humvee that remained was its sizzling engine block.

The force of the explosion knocked Carlos unconscious ...

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Even The Devil Can't Fool A Dog - Part 1

“A man, well, he'll walk right into Hell with both eyes open. But even the devil can't fool a dog.” -Earl Hamner, Jr.


PART I

“It wasn’t the best idea.”

Carlos Cruz was part of a three-vehicle convoy patrolling the scorching, silent Iraqi desert.

Carlos, a Marine lance corporal at the time, was in the rear of the convoy, lying down in the back seat of a ...

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Even The Devil Can't Fool A Dog - Prologue

“A man, well, he'll walk right into Hell with both eyes open. But even the devil can't fool a dog.” -Earl Hamner, Jr.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) have been called the hallmark wounds of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to a 2008 Rand study, one in five American service members who’ve been deployed in the post-9/11 wars suffer from ...

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Blind Camp Pendleton Marine Vet Competing In Marathon Via Wheelchair (Video)

Staff Sgt. James Carey enlisted in the Marines when he was just 20-years-old. He served in Afghanistan. His future in the Marine Corps looked bright, until July 2009, according to the Patriot Guard Riders website:

[J]ust prior to his next deployment, he was training for Special Recon group for Navy Seals when he [almost] drowned in a pool among 40 marines.

He was brought back to life but unfortunately ...

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Camp Pendleton Marine Veteran Killed In Libya Hotel Attack (Video)

The only American killed in Tuesday's attack on a luxury hotel in Libya was a Marine Corps veteran who'd served at Camp Pendleton.

According to CNN, David Berry was one of ten people killed when gunmen stormed the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli. Five of dead were Libyans, four French, and Berry the sole American who lost his life.

Cliff Taylor, who is CEO of Crucible (a private security ...

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'Smart Homes' Will Make Life A Little Easier For Severely Wounded Veterans

Marine Staff Sgt. Jason Ross lost both his legs when he stepped on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in 2011.

But life will become a little easier for him thanks to a custom built “smart home” that broke ground Tuesday in Fallbrook.

The Gary Sinise Foundation raised the money to build a smart home for Ross, who is now in a wheelchair.

It will include features that make activities ...

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Military Commissaries Facing Budget Axe Once Again?

Military commissaries would have to shut their doors to shoppers by up to two days a week, under a draft Defense Department budget document obtained by the Military Times.

The document lists proposed cuts to the Defense Commissary Agency's budget for fiscal 2016:

[T]he Defense Commissary Agency [must]... meet a DoD mandate to come up with $322 million in annual savings — nearly one-fourth of DeCA's annual baseline ...

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Therapy Dogs Would Help Veterans With PTSD Under New Bill

Veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder could help train therapy dogs for other veterans under a pilot program being considered by Congress.

The Veterans Dog Training Therapy Act, introduced by Ohio Rep. Steve Stivers, would put in place a pilot program at several VA medical facilities. These VA facilities would then connect veterans suffering from PTSD with organizations that train therapy dogs for physically disabled vets.

Stivers said in a ...

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World War II POWs In San Diego Attend Private 'Unbroken' Screening

More than a dozen World War II POWs in San Diego were treated on Wednesday at Ultrastar Cinema in Mission Valley to a private screening of the movie "Unbroken."

The film is based on the life of the late Louis Zamperini, an Olympian and a war hero who survived 47 days on a raft in the Pacific Ocean after his bomber crashed before being captured by the Japanese. He endured ...

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Three-Legged Marine Corps Dog Subject Of New Book (Video)

A retired Marine Corps bomb-sniffing dog with a local connection is the subject of a new book, Top Dog: The Story of Marine Hero Lucca.

Maria Goodavage, the author of the bestseller Soldier Dogs, also penned Top Dog.

Gunnery Sgt. Chris Willingham, Lucca's first handler and current owner, says the canine Purple Heart recipient saved countless lives during her 400 patrols while deployed to Iraq twice and once to ...

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Native American Navy Veteran Paved Way for Women Sailors

Native American Navy Veteran Paved Way for Women Sailors

SOUTH GATE, Calif., Nov. 28, 2014 – The head woman dancer at a recent Native American Veterans Association pow wow is a retired sailor who helped blaze the path for women in the Navy.

Retired Navy Chief Petty Officer Old Horn-Purdy, from the Crow tribe, took part in the annual Veterans Appreciation and Heritage Day Pow Wow here on Nov. 8-9, 2014 ...

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