“Roger, my dog, saved a lot of lives in Vietnam. There are a lot of Marines alive today because of Roger. We always walked 50 feet in front of the patrol. Whenever Roger alerted, he would start dancing. He’d start shaking his rear end and I knew we were about to have trouble.
We were always out front. To this day, I don’t want to be in the front. I’m the guy that is going to be just a little late. I’m not going to be in front again.
I loved that dog. We slept together in the same hole and we were a team. It broke my heart when I learned that all of the dogs we used in Vietnam were put to sleep. They said the dogs had picked up a parasite.
I am 100 percent disabled with PTSD and sinus problems. I work with other veterans and have helped about 500 vets file for the disability benefits that they are entitled to receive. It is very important to me that the soldiers that we are deploying now get the help that they need when they come back.
I had a very difficult time when I returned from Vietnam. I remember I was applying for a job that I was qualified for and it was great interview. But when they learned I had been in Vietnam, there were no more questions or discussions. My interview was over.
That’s why it is so important to look after the guys who are coming back from combat. They need someone to talk to, veteran-to-veteran. That is the key, I think, to full recovery.”