Robert, Army National Guard, Navy
December 2013 Class
Age: 49 Years in Service: 24 Years Rank: E8
Served in: Afghanistan, Iraq
I was born and raised in Southern Louisiana and South Central Mississippi and am happy to have a big, loving family. My wife of twenty-four years has been a huge support system throughout my career and my life. I have three wonderful children, Margaret, Catherine and little Robert. We live for each day and it is obvious that loves rules the house.
I served five years active duty Navy and the remainder in the Mississippi Army National Guard. Over my twenty-four years of service, I worked with twenty-five countries and deployed twelve times. I have been to the Persian Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan and many other places good and bad. My last duties were as a Mobility Senior Supervisor, coordinating air, land and sea movements for Afghan Theatre.
While deployed in 2008, I broke my back but it was not diagnosed until seven months later. Ten months after that, I was back in Afghanistan and I slipped down a set of cement steps while wearing full battle gear with body armor. I was transported out of the country due to the extensive damage to my vertebrae. I have also had four concussions which I attribute to some of my current memory issues.
Having PTSD has caused me to become a shut-in. I do not go out unless my wife or children go with me. I can’t handle large crowds without my circle of support. I am hoping my new service dog, Cowboy, will help me become more independent. I truly believe he will give me the support and confidence I need to get out and about. I know people are skeptics, but don’t dismiss the possibility of what these animals can bring to your life.
Looking forward to:
It’s hard to set goals for myself, I need to heal first. Gaining control of my pain in my left leg and lower back is my top priority. I miss serving my country and the esprit de corps of the uniform. I would love to have the opportunity to have that again, or at least something similar. Once I am on the right path, I would love to become a useful part of the community.
Breed: Malinois/Lab mix
Cowboy is a 2 year old Malinois/Lab mix. He was rescued from Jacksonville ACPS. Cowboy is a very sweet, mellow dog who loves to relax and be loved. He is still a little skinny but will gain weight quickly during training!