Dustin and K-9 Kalani
My name is Dustin and I am a retired Deputy Sheriff from the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office. I am the father of 3 boys and married to a wonderful wife. I grew up in the inner city, specifically North Minneapolis, later graduating from Minnetonka High School and moving to Texas. Starting my law enforcement schooling in Texas, I did a ton of ride alongs with some great Harris County Sheriff’s deputies where I knew this was the right job for me. In 1994 I moved back to Minnesota and continued my schooling. First part time licensed with Ramsey County Sheriff’s Officer, I was sworn in as a full time deputy sheriff with Anoka County. I worked as a patrol deputy, detective on the Anoka-Hennepin Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force, as a Drug Recognition Expert and instructor and more.
I loved what I did, and working in a rural area brought me to more “action” than I ever could have managed. With that love, with that fun, with that “action” brought plenty of stress and traumatic moments even before my shooting. I would counter the on-duty stress by visiting various animals in my patrol area including horses, dogs, cows, and even wolves at the wildlife research center. I found that these interactions helped center me and find peace during stressful times. As much as I loved the job, after almost 10 years in law enforcement I retired in 2005 due to injuries suffered in a gun battle in Andover. Although the retirement was officially for the damage in my arm, there was obviously what I would realize was and diagnosed Complex PTSD. Most of us experienced with PTSD know that the complexity goes far beyond one simple incident.
In 2022, almost 20 years after, I found my PTSD flaring more than it had in quite some time. In response and in honor of 20 years of survival since my shooting, I sought out more treatment and ways to refresh my PTSD management tools. Among them is the opportunity Soldiers 6 presented me with. Kalani entered my life just a week ago and she and I have already connected amazingly. I named her Kalani as it is Hawaiian for “from the heavens” and “majesty”. It fits her personality and bond we have made already.
I am honored and proud that Soldiers 6 has given me this opportunity and Battle Buddy training begins in about a week.