VFW Women's Auxiliary recognized for efforts to raise funds for service dog
By Kyle Vuille
Ranger-Review Staff Writer
“They’ve already done their part, now it’s time to do yours” was a quote from a letter written by David Riggs, founder of K9 Care Montana Inc. to the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars Women’s Auxiliary group.
The small group of ladies met Tuesday night at the Glendive VFW to receive the plaque sent by K9 Care Montana Inc. to commemorate their donations to the organization.
“We were very surprised that we got that much money for as small a post as we have,” Secretary of the Auxiliary group, Cleo Reil said. “It only took about 3-4 months.”
According to Sharon Avens, Treasurer of the women’s auxiliary group, it all began last January in a meeting when the group decided they needed a special project.
Avens did some investigating on the internet and came across Riggs’ website.
The women’s auxiliary group then raised funds through soup dinners, bake sales and numerous other fundraisers.
Overall, the group raised $1,200 and sent K9 Care Montana Inc. a check for that amount in September.
“It takes $30,000 to train a dog,” said Reil. “It was a jaw-dropping figure.”
Riggs then wrote a letter of correspondence saying the money raised helped one of 46 service dogs be gifted to a veteran.
The dog’s name is Jake and he is a black Labrador retriever. The veterans name is Scott Forman who lives near Butte. Forman is a U.S. Army vet who served most of his years as a military policeman and also served time in Korea as a patrolman on the Protective Service Details for the commander of the United National Command and U.S. Forces-Korea. He served as a Contractor Officer Representative in Kuwait during his service years as well. During his years of service, he was also a military dog handler and assisted the dogs who search for explosives and narcotics. Forman had suffered trauma injuries during his combat deployment. Forman had faced three different deployments during his time in the service and upon returning was “isolating himself from others and going down a dark path.”
Since he received Jake, Forman is doing much better and has provided more than enough support for Foreman in his daily life.
Jake the dog now accompanies Forman at his job at the Military Entries Processing Station (MEPS) in Butte.
Not only does Forman have a daily companion and hunting buddy, he has a forever furry friend.
The local auxiliary group is pleased with the outcome.
“It was wonderful idea,” Reil said. “We will probably sponsor another dog next year.”
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