Local Legion chipping in to help troops

There have been so many efforts to help our troops overseas. Republican or Democrat, the one thing most Americans agree on is that it is our troops who are in harm’s way on a day-to-day basis in service of this nation, and groups and organizations have received great support in efforts to help them, both while overseas and upon their return home.

One organization that hasn’t had a lot of publicity yet is The Puppy Rescue Mission. This started a while back by a woman named Anna Cannan, who’s fiancé, Chris, was stationed in Afghanistan, according to the group’s Web site (thepuppyrescuemission.org). A suicide bomber reportedly tried to infiltrate Chris’ combat outpost shortly before he arrived, and a group of dogs that the unit had informally adopted started barking at the bomber and pursued him. His explosives went off, the bomber and a few of the dogs were killed, but the troops on base were unharmed.

The soldiers’ bonds with the dogs only grew from that point, and Cannan noticed that Chris constantly talked about these dogs when he returned home from Afghanistan. She wanted to try to bring seven of the dogs to the states for Chris, and started selling candles and running an online raffle to raise funds. When she found out it would cost about $3,000 to vaccinate them, transport them to the airport and fly them to the U.S., she started a Facebook fundraising effort. Now, The Puppy Rescue Mission is becoming a pretty big deal, as many of our troops overseas bonded with stray dogs during their time in Afghanistan and Iraq.

It can be lonely for a service member overseas, and the dogs can provide a sense of normalcy and some companionship during stressful times.

To help out, American Legion Post 24 in Dagsboro is holding a fundraising event on Sunday, Sept. 25, from 2 to 4 p.m. There will be a fish fry and meatloaf dinner available for $7, and music will be provided by Conrad. Money raised from this event will go directly to The Puppy Rescue Mission and its efforts to help reunite American service members with dogs they bonded with while overseas.