Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Giving Thanks

Brian Jarrell enlisted in the Marine Corps in December 2001, never knowing his service to our country would change his life, significantly.  While deployed to Haiti and Fallujah, Iraq, Jarrell served as an ambulance driver and supported operational needs for humanitarian work.  In September 2005, Jarrell returned to the states and started showing signs of PTSD, major depressive disorder, anger, insomnia and anxiety.  Deployed again in 2006, Jarrell to Al Asad, Iraq, where he was a vehicle recovery operator.  After his tour in Iraq, he became a Marine Corps recruiter and while on recruiting duty, Jarrell's symptoms became increasingly worse and he started getting help at the local Veterans Administration Medical Center in Syracuse, New York.  After three months, he was sent to the Wounded Warrior Detachment at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.  There he received treatment for his symptoms and in April he was sent to the Wounded Warrior Battalion-East aboard MCB Camp Lejeune for continued therapy.  After learning about Carolina Canines for Veterans, Sgt Jarrell working with his case manager at Wounded Warrior Battalion-East, applied for a service dog. 

On November 14th, Brian met Jada, a Boxer-Labrador mix rescued from Adopt-An-Angel, a Wilmington based rescue group.   Jada was with Adopt-An-Angel for several months; she was a real handful and often overlooked or her trial adoptions did not work out.   There was a reason for her not being adopted and when Carolina Canines was in need of another dog for the training program, her mission to serve a service member through her training in the  Carolina Canines for Veterans program was realized.  Jada was in training about 14 months including the transition time due to the program relocation to the Naval Consolidated Brig Charleston.

Brain and Jada spent an intensive week of team training in Charleston so he could learn to work with his service dog.  Jada will work specifically to help mitigate Sgt. Jarrell's issues related to PTSD.  Of his new partner Jarrell says, "Me and Jada are starting to really bond. I am having a great time with her. She is a true blessing. I really need something like this in my life."

To read more about the placement, visit

Carolina Canines for Veterans is proud to serve our service members that need the assistance of a quality trained service dog.  Thank you to our volunteers, supporters, funders and fans for helping to make our mission possible and allowing us to serve our community.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank a Veteran, Not Just Today, Everyday

"Veterans Day is an annual United States holiday honoring military veterans. A federal holiday, it is observed on November 11. It is also celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world, falling on November 11, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.)" (Wikipedia).

Veterans Day gives each of us a time to pause and reflect on the men, women and even the dogs that have served our country.  Not just served, defended her, and our freedoms, sometimes for the sake of their own lives.   As I pause to reflect, many men in my life have served, my Dad was in the Navy, my brother in the Air Force and my husband served in the Air Force during the Vietnam Era, but I was still being a child during most of the Vietnam conflict and did not fully understand the impact other then the memorable protests and uprising.  As I listen to those that served during that era, I am saddened by the lack of support for our men and women who were doing a job asked of them, the same as the men and women who serve today.  

Today, my life has been touched by the men and women who have served or currently serve our great nation because I am blessed to be a part of a growing organization that works to provide needed services to our wounded warriors.   I see and listen to their sacrifices and struggles to regain their identity and learn who they are after battling devastating injuries, physical, mental or spiritual. I listen as they reach out to find hope and a pathway in a world that has changed and shook them to their very core.   I listen and I hear, not just with my ears but my heart.   And, I triumph in their achievements.

Today, I thank the Veterans in my life that have opened my eyes, my mind and my heart.  Today, I thank you for allowing me to have the honor of serving you in some small way because of Carolina Canines for Veterans.  Thank you for touching my life.  Thank you for letting me be a small part of who you have become.  Next week, Carolina Canines for Veterans will work with the 11th Veteran to receive a service dog from the program.  Eleven lives we have been able to touch one person at a time.  To all the Ed's, Leslie's and Donald's that  I have the honor to know, thank you for allowing Carolina Canines for Veterans serve you.

Monday, November 1, 2010


This time of year, I think about the winds whirling the fallen leaves to the ground and sometimes creating a frenzy of leaves swirling in front of you.  That swirl of leaves is every bit the way we might be feeling at Carolina Canines.  Seems October has whirled it's way to the end of the month in a blink of an eye.  From one event to another we have been chasing our tails to try to catch up with ourselves.

Myrna Joseph presents Service Dog Titus with a check
Special thanks go our to the Shallotte Middle School for a car wash fundraiser Ms. Atkinson's class held as she continues her "Pay It Forward" teaching to our children of the community.  They raised over $300 for the Carolina Canines for Veterans program.  Also, thanks to the Moose Family Lodge on Carolina Beach Rd for hosting a Brunswick Stew dinner and raising funds to support our programs.   Community support is key to our success and we appreciate each and every one of you.

Mid-October found Rick, Pat and Service Dog Titus presenting at a national sales event in California and then returning east for the first Charleston, SC fundraiser held by the Charleston Referral Exchange, Hounds for Heroes.  The event was a great success and plans are starting for a bigger event for 2011.  Thanks to our new Charleston friends for your hard work for an inaugural event.

Back in Wilmington, Jonathon, Bob and the staff of Carrabba's Italian Grill outdid themselves with a scrumptious luncheon benefiting Carolina Canines.  If you missed it this year, we are sure there will be a chance in 2011.

And, back to Charleston for the inaugural event for Passport 72, A Global Masquerade. Passport 72 is an emerging organization dedicated to generating financial and support resources for local charities through the sale of unique home furnishings and accessories.  Stay tuned for the debut of the products at their online store.  We had a sneak peek of some items at the masquerade and the products are beautiful.

November will find us gearing up for the holidays with the sale of fresh cut Frazer fir Christmas trees in both Wilmington and Charleston.  Don't miss your chance to get your Christmas tree and help a great cause all at the same time. Visit the online store to order today.

In the midst of the whirlwind, we have not forgotten our true mission of providing people with disabilities service dogs.  Just before the Thanksgiving holiday, there will be one more Veteran giving thanks for the help and support you provide for our programs as the first Veteran to receive his service dog from the program at the Naval Consolidated Brig will begin his team training mid-November.  Stay tuned to read about this individual and meet him and his new service dog.