Bandit — Therapy
Bandit is a 5 year old Great Dane, whose mission since being rescued at 14 weeks old has been “Lifting Soldiers’ Spirits”. Bandit had many health issues in the beginning, he has had 5 surgeries over the years, and at one time he had 2 plates and 20 screws in each of his back leg. Bandit grew up at the Fort Leonard Wood USO, as a puppy you would find him lying on the lap of a soldier, a soldier who had been crying, it was then that I knew he had more to give. At a year old he became a therapy dog and since has become known as the dog that will steal your heart. He travels the nation providing support wherever he is needed. From Missouri, to the East Coast he has provided support to our wounded warriors at Walter Reed, helped those grieving at Arlington Cemetery and helped those at the Pentagon take a break. Bandit also teams up with Thayer Elem. School. He waits for the children at the library, some children may be having difficulties reading and by bringing them to the library they open up, helping enhance their reading skills. Other military children have used Bandit to cope with the deployment of a family member. One such little girl would hug Bandit every week, because in doing so she felt connected to her father, she felt him in Bandit. When you hear a soldier say “He is their beacon of hope, their shining light in the darkness”, you know he has done his job. It is his selfless acts of the heart that make him a hero to me.