Healing Soldiers, One Dog At A Time - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Healing Soldiers, One Dog At A Time

Joseph Jones, Jr., a Vietnam War veteran, spends some quality time with guide dog Bruce, at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center in Florida. Joseph Jones, Jr., a Vietnam War veteran, spends some quality time with guide dog Bruce, at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center in Florida.

MSNBC.COM - Irwin Stovroff is a true American hero – not only for what he did 70 years ago, but for what he accomplishes today.

During World War II, the 20-year-old airman was on his 35th bombing mission when the enemy shot down his B-24 Liberator over German-occupied France.

In Stovroff's home a photo hanging on the wall shows the exact moment his plane nosedived to the ground, billowing smoke. In the picture, taken by an airman flying in another bomber, tiny white dots depict the 10 crewmen who parachuted to the ground.

He remembers being scared and "cursing Hitler all the way down."

Landing right behind enemy lines, Stovroff and his crew were immediately captured by German forces. "This was one time I really did not think I was going to make it," he said.

He believes quick thinking helped save him. Stovroff said he threw away the dog tags that identified him as Jewish, and spent the next year in a Nazi POW camp before being freed by Russian forces. Upon returning to the U.S., Stovroff earned the Air Medal, the Purple Heart, and eventually, the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Knowing first-hand the horrors of war, the 89-year-old is now on a new mission -- helping wounded soldiers.

After learning that the federal government has no program to match injured soldiers with service dogs, Stovroff started a charity in 2007 called Vets Helping Heroes. Since then, he's raised $3 million to supply vets with seeing-eye and therapy dogs.  

"I really recognize what a dog can mean, what a dog can do for somebody," he told NBC's "Nightly News." "The dog is a true lifesaver."

The highly trained service dog, Stovroff said, can give the wounded warrior "mobility, independence and a companionship that he can't get from any other way."

Lt. Col. Kathy Champion served with distinction for 27 years and commanded a special combat unit in Iraq. After, returning home, she went blind from a mysterious virus she contracted in Iraq that attacked her spinal cord. At first, Champion shut herself off from family and friends.

"I became a hermit in my own house," she said. "I quit school. I quit my job. I quit being social. I didn't want to talk to anybody. I stopped answering phone calls from my son and daughter. I didn't tell anybody what was wrong. I didn't want anyone to know I wasn't the soldier I had been." click here to read more

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Family tries euthanizing cat after he walked 12 miles to return home

    Family tries euthanizing cat after he walked 12 miles to return home

    Thursday, April 19 2018 1:23 AM EDT2018-04-19 05:23:12 GMT
    @a.cat.named.toby@a.cat.named.toby
    @a.cat.named.toby@a.cat.named.toby

    RALEIGH, North Carolina - A North Carolina family gave their cat away and then tried to euthanize him after he walked 12 miles back to his home. According to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Wake County, North Carolina, Toby the cat made the long trek back to his family after they tried to give him away. When he returned, they took him to a shelter to put him down. The shelter called the SPCA to ask if they would help 

    >>

    RALEIGH, North Carolina - A North Carolina family gave their cat away and then tried to euthanize him after he walked 12 miles back to his home. According to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Wake County, North Carolina, Toby the cat made the long trek back to his family after they tried to give him away. When he returned, they took him to a shelter to put him down. The shelter called the SPCA to ask if they would help 

    >>
  • Michigan mother leaves 2 infant girls in suitcase on curb

    Michigan mother leaves 2 infant girls in suitcase on curb

    Thursday, April 19 2018 11:16 AM EDT2018-04-19 15:16:15 GMT

    FLINT, Mich. - Police say a 26-year-old Michigan woman left her two infant daughters inside a suitcase on the side of the road as child welfare workers arrived to take the children away. Police say officers assisting Child Protective Services workers Wednesday were unable to find the children inside the Flint home, about 50 miles northwest of Detroit.

    >>

    FLINT, Mich. - Police say a 26-year-old Michigan woman left her two infant daughters inside a suitcase on the side of the road as child welfare workers arrived to take the children away. Police say officers assisting Child Protective Services workers Wednesday were unable to find the children inside the Flint home, about 50 miles northwest of Detroit.

    >>
  • Toddler shoots pregnant mom outside Indiana thrift store

    Toddler shoots pregnant mom outside Indiana thrift store

    Wednesday, April 18 2018 4:40 PM EDT2018-04-18 20:40:25 GMT

    MERRILVILLE, Indiana - An Indiana woman is in critical but stable condition after her 3-year-old daughter accidentally shot her with a gun her father left in the car. Police in Merrillville say two small children were waiting in the car with their mother while their father shopped inside a thrift store when the shooting happened Tuesday afternoon.

    >>

    MERRILVILLE, Indiana - An Indiana woman is in critical but stable condition after her 3-year-old daughter accidentally shot her with a gun her father left in the car. Police in Merrillville say two small children were waiting in the car with their mother while their father shopped inside a thrift store when the shooting happened Tuesday afternoon.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/