Puppy Jake Foundation is proud to share the news of the graduation of three service dogs and their wounded military veterans.  For two weeks, Trainers worked with Lukas, Jarrod and Steve as they met their service dog for the first time.  Team Training included classroom discussion of the ADA law, health and care of a dog, learning and practicing cues the service dogs have acquired, restaurants, malls, training and more training.

A special thank you with deep gratitude goes out to Elise, Gina and Rhonda for their phenomenal hard work and dedication with the training of PARKE, BUCKY and DEAN.  While it is difficult to say good-bye to a dog that has been in your family and heart for close to 2 years, these three Foster Families did so with grace and pride.  Their selflessness allows for a new chapter in the lives of three American heroes with three dogs that will always have a place in all of our hearts.

Service Dog PARKE was placed with veteran Lukas.  Lukas was U.S. Army active duty as a 19D (Cavalry Scout) from 2000 to 2003.  From 2001 through 2002, Lukas served at Camp Hovey, Korea on numerous training missions along the DMZ (demilitarized zone).  He was stationed in Ft. Carson, Colorado and was with the 4th ID and became involved in the main push of the Iraq invasion from March through October 2003.  Lukas was stop-lossed, (required stay in uniform beyond the enlistment) during his time in Iraq. 

Lukas was on Individual Ready Reserve (IRR), then Army Reserves.  While in the Army Reserves, he was MOB’d (mobilized) twice, back-to-back, stateside from 2009-2011.  Lukas left with the rank of Staff Sergeant and is currently in the IRR again.  Lukas suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), hearing loss and tinnitus in his left ear.  Lukas is married and lives in Norwalk, Iowa.

Service Dog BUCKY was placed with veteran Jarrod.  Jarrod is a full time student at Western International University working on his Masters in Public Administration (MPA).  He has a BA in Criminal Behavior from Western International University; an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Culinary Arts degree and an Associate of Arts (AA) degree from Indian Hills Community College.

Jarrod joined the United States Army in 2006.  In 2007 he was deployed to Iraq for a fifteen-mouth tour, then from 2010 to 2011 Jarrod served in Afghanistan.  Tragically, during his tours of duty, Jarrod witnessed the death of fellow service members and he now suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  He suffers from hearing loss in his left ear and scarring from lacerations in combat.  Head trauma resulted in sleep apnea and Jarrod suffers from night terrors.  Back at home in 2013, Jarrod enjoys spending his time outside camping, fishing, and hunting.  Jarrod lives in Oskaloosa with his wife and daughter.

Service Dog DEAN was placed with veteran Steve.  Steve served in the United States Marine Corps from 1993 until 1997.  His numerous assignments included operations in Albania, Congo and Zaire where he participated in the evacuation of American citizens.  For Steve’s many heroic actions, he earned the Combat Action Ribbon.  Over four years of service to America took a toll on Steve.  He suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), chronic migraine headaches, anxiety and major depression.

Steve has been participating with Puppy Jake Foundation for over a year to become familiar with dog training cues and canine behavior as he eagerly awaited a service dog.  Steve and wife reside in Sioux Falls, SD with their four children.