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KotaRT 06-10-2014 12:29 PM

1 Year This Month Ownership!
This month marks ONE YEAR of my ownership of my dog, Lothar von Tirol. I cannot thank him enough for all of the memories he has helped create. All of the times he has helped drag me out of the darkness that has plagued me, and continues to burden me. Yet still, he manages to have a positive attitude and bring me outside of myself, and give me purpose. I didn't know how much of a difference raising a working line shepherd, and now working towards him becoming a service dog would make when I initially got him. I was really just looking for a furry friend to keep me company. Instead I was blessed with a savior, a mentor, a brother, a furry child, and a Healing Guardian. I am still struggling, but I am light years from where I was. I can only HOPE and DREAM to one day have the heart that Lothar has. If we loved, the way that dogs love us, imagine how great the world would be! Most of you won't understand the true meaning behind my feelings with this pup, and might think it's over the top. That's fine. However, I can tell you I have been through a lot of treatment options with the Army, and I HATE the fact that they only want to pump us full of medication. The biggest improvement I have seen in my life in recent years, has been the direct result of working with this dog and Healing Guardians. I cannot thank my family, my girlfriend, my dog, Healing Guardians, and everyone else involved enough for helping me through this. I have a purpose now, which I didn't feel I had I just need to come home.

ChunksDad 06-10-2014 05:46 PM

KotaRT... Thanks for the great shots of Lothar, he's a really good looking dog. Funny thing about GSD's how they somehow ingrain themselves in our lives and add so much meaning. Grace, protection, love and a want for adventure seem to be traits all my three GSD's have had in abundance. We were fortunate enough to breed my female and then have one in a litter of eight pick us. There is really something special in having a pup from day one and his attachment to you as the pack leader. I don't think I have ever experienced it with any of the other dogs we have had.
I want to take this opportunity to thank you for how much you have sacrificed for us. My hope and prayers for you are that you continue on in your healing knowing that your sacrifice was worth while.
Best of luck to you..


ApselBear 06-10-2014 05:56 PM

Handsome dog you got there

Mac's Mom 06-10-2014 06:21 PM

Not over the top at all. This is one of those posts that render me speechless when there is so much to say. All I'll say is thanks for sharing. Thanks for everything. And I hope you are home soon. 06-10-2014 06:54 PM

well Im speechless as well, what a beautiful dog, and very touched by your story. Thank you for serving our county, and nothing but healing thoughts and prayers coming your way :)

KotaRT 06-11-2014 12:21 PM

Thanks for the kind words folks! It means a lot. I love reading stories and looking at other pups on here, so keep making memories!

I do have to somewhat disagree with you guys a bit in reference to the sacrifice and service portion. I enjoyed/dreaded my time as a Combat Medic. Though when I joined, I knew exactly what I and the men to my left and right would be facing. It's not something I consider sacrifice on my part. After all, I'm still alive. I wish I could change certain past events, but don't we all? I was a "line medic" which is a medic assigned to a platoon that does combat patrols. Believe me...we did PLENTY of dismounted patrols, haha. I think we averaged around 1000 miles on foot per month. If I could describe Afghanistan briefly it would be: "The best AND worst time of my life." I made some of the most lasting friendships I will ever have, and gained the most disgraceful enemies I will ever have. I was the ONLY medical personnel anywhere nearby, unless you were MEDEVAC'd to a Role 3 hospital. So I was not only a friend, and medic...but a person people came to talk to when they were having terrible that I mean suicide. Luckily, none of the men I was with ever did. To see a grown man with a family going through so much stress, to the point he wanted to end his life truly broke my heart. Though of course then came dealing with the combat casualites, on top of doing dismounted patrols which lasted anywhere from 20 hours, to a few days. I cannot even tell you how many combat casualties there were. Most of which were Afghan locals...90% of those were children. Taliban and Muj. fighters would injure, torture, and kill the innocent locals for even talking to if they were traitors. When in reality, we were just helping them. I would bring them parts of my MREs (gross I know...but it was all the food we had too), I would even provide the locals with medical care. I didn't care if it was a cough. I grew to love the children (except the ones that were corrupted already, and spit on me/threw things at me). Then as I mentioned before, some of the children were attacked for taking candy from soldiers. This was apparently to teach them a "lesson". I had almost an entire week where every day I would have multiple pediatric combat traumas due to gun shot wounds. The worst was two young boys, no older than 10. Both of them had 8+ gunshot wounds, from 7.62mm rounds. If you haven't seen what damage a 7.62mm round does compared to our puny 5.56mm round...let me just say these boys should have perished from 1 shot. They lived. Though, I question myself to this day about all of my patients...and especially the children. However, these two really make me think. I feel terrible, just wondering what kind of lifestyle they now have with such severe injuries. Though they lived somehow...they, and many other casualties we see are forever limited. The last month in deployment, while we were packing our connexs to send back to garrison was yet more losses sustained in combat out of hundreds since we've been there. We worked with Afghan government officials who were on patrols with us, as well as on a lot of US bases. I would visit with any of them that seeked medical attention, for whatever reason. One day, one of them came to me for a few issues he was having, and of course I gave him everything I could think of to help, as well as asking him to follow up with me to let me know how he is feeling.

A few days later, that same man was walking past a group of our soldiers...turned to them, and opened fire. 2 were killed, 4 were critically injured. Some of which are still recovering to this day. Of the 2 killed, 1 of them was one of my medics. One of the last conversations I had with the medic and my best friend before he died, was how happy we were to finally get some real food soon. A nice shower, a good German beer. We talked about going to med school and opening our own practice one day, because we were fed up with the way healthcare is in the civilian world, and that we could provide so much more than the scam artist doctors we see all the time today.

I was responsible for gathering his belongings in order for them to get back to his family. I also took the uniform he had on at the time, which was needed for the investigation. In one of his pockets, was a blood stained list. A list of goals. Goals for the present...and future goals. When I looked at that...I was completely speechless. THIS is the type of lasting relationship(s) I was mentioning earlier. Though, I would glady have laid my life down for someone like him to live instead. I would venture to say that THIS is the true definition of a man. Of course, you would need to have met him to really seen just how amazing of a person he is. He isn't the only one though. Just see for yourselves. How many men and women, that had a huge impact on this planet and our lives were taken from us? Taken from us from some hate filled ignorant and corrupted demon.

This isn't about me. This isn't just about Iraq/Afghanistan. This is about all of the folks that have been stripped of their #1 right as a human. Life.

The families who have had to endure these types of loses, I continually pray for. Every second, of every day. I can't even imagine having to go through the loss of a loved one, or child.

All of that being said, I am one of the people who didn't get my chance to die. At least not yet, **** I've even been hit by a drunk driver and didn't die, lol. I am guessing someone upstairs either doesn't want me just yet, or has a plan for me. So what of those of us who were there and did survive? What's next? I wish I could tell you. The only thing I can suggest, is that if you know ANYONE, that has been in a combat environment, and that has some struggles...PLEASE talk to them. They aren't crazy, they aren't dangerous. They are hurting. They need support, especially for the single service members.

I typed all of this to hopefully shed some light on my feelings towards "my sacrifice" (I wasn't trying to be offensive or anything).

I also did this to get anyone who might me "ashamed" or whatever about their issues, to get your @ss some help. I don't care if it's a service dog, counselor, talking with friend(s), etc. Trust me...I've been down a dark path, break the cycle...before it breaks you. You can GROW from deployment experiences, no matter how tragic some things may be. It's just something you have to work at, and that's why getting help is makes it easier.

It's PTSD awareness month folks, sorry for the rant. Feel free to cuss at me for making you read all of this crap! Haha. If anyone needs any help, feel free to message me as well. I am currently pending a medical evaluation board @ Ft. Knox. So I am spending all my spare time helping how I can, and working with my pup!

Here is another pic :) Myself on the left, and one of the 11B's (infantryman) in my platoon on the right.

namvet4 06-11-2014 12:30 PM

We thank you for your service, your truthfulness and your willingness to share. And thank you for sharing the pictures of Lothar von Tirol. Namvet4, Vietnam Republic of...'68-70. 4th Infantry Division

Shade 06-11-2014 12:35 PM

Lothar is stunning :wub: I'm glad he's been such a comfort and blessing to you :)

Daisy&Lucky's Mom 06-11-2014 03:14 PM

Thank you for your service and wishing you and Lothar many more years of togetherness.

KotaRT 06-12-2014 08:15 AM


Originally Posted by namvet4 (Post 5628993)
We thank you for your service, your truthfulness and your willingness to share. And thank you for sharing the pictures of Lothar von Tirol. Namvet4, Vietnam Republic of...'68-70. 4th Infantry Division

I was working with some 4th Infantry Division guys when we were deployed, 4-22 I believe? I am sure much has changed about all the units since when you were in the REAL Army then.

I am very big on making sure retirees and former combat vets are taken care of too. I currently work in the hospital on Ft. Knox, so I have the privledge of meeting and taking care of previous generations daily. So if you haven't jumped on it already, make sure to take advantage of all the benefits you possibly can. You risked and went through a lot, so you folks deserve the best possible lifestyle from here on out! I am not necessarily a subject matter expert on benefits, but I know lots of people who are. So if you do need help or have questions, let me know! Thank you for your support, and willingness to read through all of my long rants, haha!


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