Dan and K-9 Buddy
My name is Dan, I currently live in Cottage Grove with my wife and 2 kids, with one on the way. I joined the National Guard in 2008, which then followed was a series of traumatic events. During my time in basic training, there was a fellow soldier who hung himself outside the barracks. In 2011, my mom had passed away at a young age and very unexpectedly. Right after that I had found out I was going to be a dad and then shortly after was my deployment to Kuwait and Iraq where like most soldiers, I witnessed many things I will never forget. My son was 6 months old before meeting him upon my return home in 2012. My wife and I got married in 2017, and a short few months later my younger brother took his life and we never got to say goodbye or reconnect since he distanced himself after our moms passing. Every day I struggle with my mental health, and the VA helps with what they can with my depression and anxiety. Our 2 dogs Gus and Buddy have always been by my side, and our newest dog Buddy was a blessing in disguise as he always seems to ground me and comfort me during the struggles. I am thankful to say that although there are hard days, the good ones outweigh the bad. Thank you Soldiers 6 for what you do and allowing people like me to get a second chance at hope and seeing the good with a furry partner by their side.