The stress of travel. The urgency of finding seats. The long nights of breakouts. The early mornings on the bus. All the pressures of convention melted away on Friday morning, when a half dozen golden retrievers and their owners took the stage, and Market America met the Patriot Rovers.
It’s hard sometimes to know where your money goes when you give it to charity, but the honest voices and brave faces of the soldiers who have received dogs thanks to the tireless efforts of Dave Cantara made it clear that every penny spent goes to honor and support the soliders who have served the United States of America, and who are suffering back at home.
Sgt. Terry White met his dog Faith when she was 5 months old, and in the four and a half months she’s been with Terry and his family, she has changed all of their lives. “This is not a dog. This is my battle buddy,” he says. “She makes all our lives so much better. It’s a dark world for veterans, something you can’t understand unless you’ve been there, and she helps me be here to support others.”
These bright, strong men have faced horrors most of us can’t even imagine, and they carry those wounds on our behalf. That’s why, Terry said, he values most the patriotism he felt as he stood onstage with Faith, his family, and his fellow soldiers and their dogs. “It makes me feel like my buddies didn’t die for nothing. And that money will help men who are turning away from life to live again.” Although, he notes, Faith didn’t feel the same way: “She wanted me to leave,” he says. “She felt the stress of being onstage and she wanted to protect me and pull me away from it.”
Tireless protection, unfailing loyalty, and true friendship—it’s the least we can do for our soldiers, and it’s something we can give them through Patriot Rovers. “The $27,300 we raised will get three new dogs,” says Brandi Quinn, head of ma Cares, “and we hope to give much more. This isn’t a charity anymore, this is family. We’ll do everything we can for them.”