It’s been a LONG time since I’ve done this blog thing.
Apparently I’ve become a blogging backslider when I’m not galavanting around the globe.
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My brother recently passed away – took his life actually. I truly never saw it coming. I cried a lot and still find myself crying at the most random points in time because I’ll come to the realization that I’ll never get to see my brother Greg again.
During all these teary days, my wonderful pup Walker was always at my side ready to cuddle away the crying. …just like he did ten years ago when one of my good friends who I served with in Iraq passed away.
And then it hit me.
I’m not the only veteran who has a reliable furry friend to turn to for comfort.
And so I decided to start a little project I dubbed “Vets with Pets” portraits.
This is Jared and his pup Boomer.
Jared was in Iraq around the same time I was (2004 to 2005.) During his tour he had to watch a LOT of his battle buddies die in combat. Some were up close and personal, others were torturous moments from afar (a guard tower where he had to watch his friends burn alive after their vehicle was hit by a rocket.)
Jared raised Boomer since he was born (he’s three-years-old now.) Before Boomer, Jared considered himself a hermit who lived in the woods with too many guns on hand. But thanks to Boomer, Jared now cares about life again and is creating beautiful art because of it all.
Our pets might not technically be official service animals – but it’s exactly what they do. They help us find ourselves again, help us be ok with our emotions, our flash backs, our bad dreams…
Jared is the first of hopefully many veterans I’ll be taking portraits of and if you’re a veteran with a pet that continues to get you through the thick of it – I would love to capture the love you share.