We love it when a plan comes together!
Meet our newest Hero COL (R) Angie Holbrook and her dog AJ who reside in Fairfax, Virginia. This fantastic duo recently completed Companion Dog training with Dogs Downtown VA located in Chantilly, Virginia. Holbrook served her country honorably for 27 years as an active duty Army officer with two combat tours to Iraq. It was during these combat tours that Holbrook was subsequently diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD.)
AJ is a male black / chocolate lab mix that Holbrook rescued. “There was an adoption event in Falls Church, Virginia where they brought shelter dogs in from Houston, Texas where Hurricane Harvey flooded the area in 2017. I spotted AJ when I walked in and knew immediately, he was the one,” said Holbrook.
And this story of serving does not stop there. AJ was trained by Cliff Lingle at Dog’s Downtown VA <a href="http://www.dogsdowntownva.com">http://www.dogsdowntownva.com</a> who is also a veteran. Lingle has been a professional dog trainer for 19 years in the civilian sector and served in both the Marine Corps and the Air Force as an M.P (Military Police) and was selected to be a MWD (Military Working Dog Handler.) After several tours of combat, Lingle became the Lead Combat Tactics Instructor for the Military Working Dog Program in El Paso TX.
“Cliff (Lingle) was great because he knew my story as a vet having experienced combat himself. After training, AJ has become so much calmer which has in turn rubbed off on me,” said Holbrook.
Holbrook was very happy that she was able to get her dog trained even if it was just for companion training. “While not every dog is cut out to be a service dog, there are still huge ways that dogs can be helpful to veterans.”
Lingle adamantly agrees. “It really warms my heart that your organization (C4H) is taking care of the veteran community and saving the life of rescue dogs. It truly is a lifesaver for both the veteran and the dog. So many veterans are out there are suffering silently thinking and feeling that they are alone.”
The partnership that this story represents is what makes Companions for Heroes a bridging opportunity between dogs and service to our nation. “The big thing to know for all that is reading this is that YOU are not ALONE. I too battle day by day and night by night. We can get through all of this together as one, and with the great things your organization is doing there will be another veteran saved. I salute you Companions with Heroes and thank you for all that you are doing,” added Cliff.
And we couldn’t agree more!