WWII hero works to bring service dogs to vets
A World War II veteran who was held for a year in a Nazi prisoner camp has made it his mission to help supply wounded soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with service dogs.
Irwin Stovroff, the subject of a recent Fox News report, has raised nearly $2 million dollars to help train and match up service canines with wounded combat vets.
The 85-year-old resident of Boca Raton, Fla., is also pushing lawmakers for federal funding to finance the program.
“It is a shame.” Stovroff says about the lack of an official federal program that pairs up battle-injured veterans with guide and therapy animals that can greatly improve their rehabilitation. “I wanted to do something about it.”
Stovroff, the recipient of a Distinguished Flying Cross, was shot down behind enemy German lines on his 35th bombing flight. He threw his dogs tags away before his plane crashed to hide his Jewish faith from his captors.
Stovroff says dogs can help the injured soldiers in a number of ways.
“The dog can become his eyes. He can become his legs. He can bring him anything he needs.” Stovroff said. “A dog is probably the best thing that can happen to these soldiers … They need a guide (but) they need the help and love of a dog as well.”
(Photos courtesy of Intimesofwar.us)
Posted by John Woestendiek July 29th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: afghanistan, assistance, breed specific legislation, camp, distinguished flying cross, dogs, federal, florida, german, hero, iran, irwin stovroff, nazi, prisoner, program, service dogs, soldiers, therapy, world war II, wounded