Meet the Teams
FRANK AND BELLE
Frank is a Navy veteran who served during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He still serves in a civilian role working with the Air Force. He’s always had an interest in running, but had difficulties with long events.
With Belle as part of his support team it’s been easier to take them on. She isn’t a fan of him running off without her but is always ready to congratulate him on finishing. Frank is currently preparing for an Ironman Triathalon in October, where he says Belle will be the main part of his support crew.
RAY AND JONAH
Ray discovered the call to military service in high school, being promoted to Staff Sergeant in the Army, and was admitted to Officer Candidate School, rising as high as possible for a field officer, to the rank of Colonel. His 35-year career spanned a variety of humanitarian missions, including multiple deployments to South America to give aid, assisting fellow citizens affected by hurricane Katrina, and fellow troops in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Ray now partners with his battle buddy, Jonah, who loves to sit with Ray by the water and take an occasional swim. Jonah’s best trick, however, is helping Ray to learn to be more accepting of himself, and to be as patient with his own troubles as he is with other peoples’. Jonah is always there with a steady presence to support his human buddy.
VINCE AND TIPPY
Vince entered the Army Reserves at a young age, and served for thirty-eight years, including 2 deployments to Iraq. Part of his goal in joining Operation Delta Dog was to seek more adventure and community involvement.
Enter Tippy! Coming from Animals for Adoption out of Arkansas, Tippy has proven to be a diplomat, adventurer and constant companion. She now relaxes at home with Vince and his cat, in between excursions to the museum and local restaurants.
JEAN AND QC MOLLY
Any Army veteran of four years, Jean served her country as part of the Berlin Brigade, prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Berlin Brigade was instrumental in supporting Germany’s commitment to access to Berlin for all its citizens.
Jean is as dedicated to training her companion QC Molly, and still works with Operation Delta Dog even after graduation to ensure the team’s success. Molly’s gentle nature and can-do attitude make these two the perfect pair.
TRACEY AND REESE
Tracey was a technician in the US Navy, deployed to the Middle East as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, and then to Somalia. Like many returning veterans, Tracey dealt with issues sleeping, feeling comfortable in crowds, and safe in her own home.
Trainers say Tracy and Reese are certain to graduate very soon, thanks to Tracy’s continued motivation and effort. Reese had a difficult time with a previous handler, but Tracy has been instrumental in helping him work through his reactivity issues.
HARISIS AND LEONIDAS
Harisis is an Army veteran who deployed for one term, and continued to be involved with the Army Reserves thereafter.
Struggling after his return to the US, Harisis was seeking some assistance from a service dog and ultimately met with great success.
Leo has helped Harisis to start college and live independently, and travels with him almost everywhere.
ANDREA AND GENERAL GUNNER
Andrea served in the Army, during Operation Iraqi Freedom. When she came to Operation Delta Dog, she had one request; find me a big guy! And General Gunner was happy to oblige.
Andrea is a frequent visitor to the Operation Delta Dog Training Facility, and of course, wherever she goes, the General is not far behind. He always has a lot of orders, but his mission is always to help Andrea live the best life she can.
TIM AND JANGO
Tim is a veteran of the US Army, having served in both Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Shield. After long consideration, he came to Operation Delta Dog looking for a service dog that could help him to enjoy the activities he used to.
Jango was happy to help him, by being around to support and give a little extra space in a crowd. With a quick block, Tim and Jango can enjoy family events, shopping trips, and their favorite, amusement parks!
ANGELENA AND ANNA
As a water purification specialist for the Army, Angelena was responsible for ensuring the safety of her fellow troops by giving them safe water and food.
Now Anna helps to ensure Angelena’s safety by giving her a solid foundation wherever she goes. At work or out on the town, Anna is always nearby to provide whatever her handler needs.
CHRIS AND TY
Chris has led a long and storied career in the military, with deployments in Panama, Afghanistan, Honduras, and Afghanistan, and being deployed in both Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Shield. With that history, it’s not a surprise that he’d want a special dog.
Thanks to the folks at Last Hope, Operation Delta Dog was able to find that dog in Ty. Ty and Chris trained very hard to make the perfect team, and they still travel together whenever they can.
KJ AND HOPE
KJ takes pride in both his service in the Army, where he was deployed in Kuwait, and his accomplishments as a small business owner. The dedication he used to become successful in both these areas, he brought to Operation Delta Dog while training.
Hope started her life as Chaos, but everyone agrees that she’s far to gentle for that sort of name. During her drive home from the shelter, the radio started playing Bruce Springsteen’s High Hopes and the team took it as a sign. Now Hope brings her namesake to KJ’s life and receives it from him in turn.
JOHN AND WINTER
John was used to looking out for others during his time in the Army, providing valuable service as a route clearer. When he returned to the US, he found he needed someone to help look out for him.
Now Winter watches his back as closely as he watches hers. Winter has blossomed from a shy rescue into a bold and confident service dog, thanks to John’s patient and encouraging work with her. Now the two couldn’t be happier to have each other.
CHRIS AND SISSY
Chris served his country in the Coast Guard; securing marine transport, trade, and valuable natural resources. During this service, he stood out with his dedication and skill.
Sissy serves Chris as his service dog, ensuring his safety and comfort. She’s distinguished herself with a first place ribbon at Weston Pooch Parade and Festival’s Service-Dog-in-Training competition. Together, this team does what they can to support each other every day.
KELLY AND DOLLAR
In the Army, a Medic is one of the most important jobs there is. As important as it is, it can be a stressful position, with a lot depending on their skills. Kelly, having saved lives in faraway places, was now looking for someone to save hers.
At the USA Science and Engineering Festival, Dollar helped to spread the word about how service dogs can help support those with PTSD and TBI. There, she proved she had the skills that Kelly needed at home and in the field.
DENIS AND ZELLA
One of Denis’ skills as an Army veteran was his calm demeanor and gentle manner. His ability to transfer these skills to animal handling earned him the nickname “The Animal Whisperer”among his friends.
Luckily for Zella, a little gentleness was just what she needed. Though she was capable and eager to learn, this little pup still became nervous in new situations. Helping her work through that, Denis found that by training Zella, he was training a lifelong companion. Now Zella is confident enough to provide support for Denis, even at a noisy Lowell Spinners game.
DALE AND ROMAN
Dale is a decorated veteran of the Navy, with six tours of duty in his history. During this time, he developed some health issues that needed a special sort of medicine, the kind only Roman knows how to give.
Roman joined Dollar at the US Science and Engineering Festival, there to teach about the impact a service dog could have. Soon after, she met Dale and learned about that impact first-hand. A true case of love at first sight, the duo are now inseparable.
BRIAN AND FRANKLIN
Brian was a veteran of the Army, deployed in Iraq as part of the Ranger Regiment. He conducted high-risk military missions at short notice as part of the Army’s premier direct-action raid force. When he returned to the US, he had a new priority mission: to meet with the perfect service dog.
Enter Franklin. After a chilly introduction to New England during a polar vortex, Franklin worked hard to become part of one of Operation Delta Dog’s most successful teams. Now the two are inseparable, and always bring a smile to our staff when they visit the Training Center.
JOE AND JAKE
Jake is a true success story for Operation Delta Dog. Part of a sponsored team, Jake and Joe were the beneficiaries of a drive by the Karlson and McKenzie show from WZLX. Karlson and McKenzie’s listeners helped to raise ten thousand dollars to cover the costs of Jake’s training.
He and Joe still do some on-air interviews talking about their experiences, though understandably Joe does most of the talking. Luckily for Jake, his good looks and friendly disposition speak for themselves.
PATRICK AND CHANCE
Proudly serving as a Marine in Iraq, Patrick used his skills and expertise to start training a service dog. A proud part of the Operation Delta Dog team, Patrick and his family still take time out of their busy schedules to collect food and toys for Delta-Dogs-in-training.
Coming to Operation Delta Dog from Last Hope K9 Rescue, Chance is now Patrick’s right-hand dog, standing by his side every day. Another sponsored dog, Chance’s training was funded by performer Rick Lattimore, who took proceeds from his Rod Stewart tribute to ensure that Patrick and Chance have a long future as teammates.
FRED AND MILO
As a veteran who served in Bosnia and Iraq, Fred has been around. In Bosnia, he was part of the military forces that intervened and helped to rebuild the peace in Bosnia-Herzegovina. When he returned to the US, he began looking for ways to rebuild peace in his own life.
Enter Milo. Saved from euthanization by Last Hope K9 Rescue, he found a mission with Operation Delta Dog. He and Fred were a quick match, and have been supporting each other ever since.
JASON AND EMZIE
Jason’s military career took him to Iraq for 2 deployments. During this time, he was the target of multiple blasts from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), which left him rocked both mentally and physically. Operation Delta Dog was just the help he needed to regain his strenght.
Emzie has been his constant companion since graduation, helping to support him the same way he supported fellow troops in Mosul and Baghdad. With understanding, teamwork, and a constant presence, Emzie has definitely become his most valued teammate.
GEORGE AND ROCKY
From 1967-1969, George served his country as a combat engineer in Vietnam, helping to move his fellow troops safely through the battlefields. Though engineers perform tasks such as constructing bridges and clearing landmines, their work frequently brings them into the line of fire.
Returning home and needing help safely navigating through the civilian world, George picked Rocky as his battle buddy. “I’ll name him Rocky,” George told the trainers, “because he’ll be the rock I lean on.” And Rocky has happily provided that solid support to George whether it’s a physical support, emotional, or just lending an ear when George needs someone to talk to.
DONALD AND MOCHA
Donald Jarvis is not only a graduate of the Operation Delta Dog program, but our very own Veteran Outreach coordinator. As a former combat engineer serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, Donald is intimately familiar with the troubles veterans face when they return home. Happily, he’s been able to overcome some of those troubles with the help of Mocha.
Mocha has also faced several deployments; starting at a shelter in Arkansas, he was transferred to New York and finally Massachusetts, where he came to the attention of the Operation Delta Dog team. Now Mocha helps Donald demonstrate the support available for veterans, while making sure his handler gets whatever he needs.
BRYAN AND LINDY
Sometimes, a dog and a veteran seem just made for each other. A US Army Reserves veteran, Bryan saw forty months of deployment. His job as a delivery driver helped him, but he needed some extra support on long drives. He also didn’t want to be unfair to any dog he worked with, small cabins making it difficult to fit most of the dogs Operation Delta Dog works with.
Enter Lindy. A pint-sized wonder, she was exactly what Bryan was looking for. After extensive training, and a lot of exposure to trucks, Lindy now serves as Bryan’s navigator both in and out of the cabin. Lindy is a reminder that every one of us has something to give, and a place we fit.
NICK AND SAINT
Nick was a US Army veteran, who served in Iraq as an Airborne Ranger. Six years of service to his country left him with physical and mental scars that he and his recovery team thought might be eased with a service dog by his side. A lifelong dog lover, Nick was an enthusiastic participant in training and now a proud graduate of the Operation Delta Dog program.
Saint is exactly what Nick was hoping for. A constant, steady companion, Saint provides a calming and relaxed presence when things get to be a little too much. He is always there to lend a paw to his battle buddy, either with a reminder that things or okay, or giving Nick a reason to smile when he needs it most.
JASON AND DOVE
Military Police serve an essential role for our nation’s military. As security for bases, they make sure that troops have a safe and secure place to return after a mission while abroad. Jason provided that safety for two years in Iraq, and found he needed some extra support when he came home.
Dove was rescued from a shelter by Last Hope K9 Rescue, and found that he could help Operation Delta Dog provide the support and security that Jason needed. Thanks to Petco’s Helping Hero program, Dove and Jason were able to undertake the task of becoming a true team. Thanks to their determination and hard work, that’s a task they’ve mastered like no others.
BRIAN AND MAGGIE
When the Operation Delta Dog team met Brian, they had a good glimpse of the resolve and vigor he would bring to the training program. A member of the Marine Infantry, Brian saw three deployments in four years, in Afghanistan and Iraq.
When we met Maggie, we had a glimpse of what she could bring to Brian and his family. Thanks to a generous donation by her namesake, Maggie DeFonce, service dog Maggie has become a part of Brian’s family as well as a part of his recovery. And what a part she is! Maggie has joined the family at Disney, and met members of the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Together, the team have started an adventure
EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMALS
Unfortunately, not every dog can be a service animal. But Operation Delta Dog feels that every dog has something to give, so we would like to honor these Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) that were trained by our staff.