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Tails from the Front Line

Official Blog of Guardian Angels for Soldier's Pet

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Foster Coordination Liaison

Looking to roll up your sleeves and get involved? Volunteer Opportunities Available

Have you ever thought about rolling up your sleeves and getting involved with a national 501(c)3 nonprofit?  Well now you can, from the comforts of your own home, with the skills you already have!

Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet like many “All Volunteer” 501c3 nonprofit organizations is only able to operate and accomplish its mission due to the generosity, time, and energy provided by those who wish to make a difference in our society – volunteers.

The organization is looking for national, regional and state volunteers to fill key positions within our organization.  If you have skills such as administration, bookkeeping, marketing, or project management – then we want to talk to you!

Learn more about all the opportunities, the qualifications and how you can get involved – click on the page below.

Volunteer Page

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Looking for a few Great Women (and men) Coordination Volunteers

We are looking for individuals who wish to become part of the Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet mission as a Foster Coordination Liaison (FCL) involved with working with our service members, wounded warriors, veterans, and families of our fallen warriors who need assistance via our Foster Home program, which also includes vetting and interacting with those individuals and families who have registered as potential foster homes through our organization.

Primarily at this time we are looking for at least 4 new FCL volunteers to cover the states of Maryland, North Carolina/South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia/West Virginia within our Southeast Region.

NOTE: Not required to reside in a specific state shown above since you would be working from home via the Internet and phone.

This is a virtual volunteer role where your efforts can be accomplished via the phone and Internet (emails) in your home during the evenings and Saturday (depending on your available time) and includes the following criteria:

  • A passion to help our military service members, wounded warriors, veterans, and families of our fallen warriors.
  • Interact and maintain communication with our registered potential foster homes, plus work with others (inside and outside the organization) as required
  • Be a self-starter, has excellent organizational, interpersonal, and management skills, plus able to work independently and as a “team” player.
  • Understand and agree to follow and adhere to the Organization’s mission, purpose, operating procedures, and organizational policies/guidelines.
  • Comfortable using and access to MS office (such as Word, Excel), communicate via the internet, phone calls, and email.
  • Previous customer service, volunteer nonprofit managerial and animal related coordination/placement experience helpful
  • Help promote the organization, its mission, and programs with others via sharing our flyers, brochures, and other items as requested by the organization’s National office.
  • Able to commit at least 1 year in this position
  • Provide the required monthly reports (coordination activity and volunteer service hours) by the date as determined by the organization’s National office.
  • Estimated Volunteer Time per Month: averaging 25-30 hours – Please be advised actual hours per month is variable on a state by state basis.

 

Those interested in learning more about the volunteer positions or to apply, visit HERE.

We are Looking for a Few Good Men (or Women) – Volunteer Roles in the NE Region

We are looking for individuals who wish to become part of the Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet mission as a Foster Coordination Liaison (FCL) involved with working with our service members, wounded warriors, veterans, and families of our fallen warriors who need assistance via our Foster Home program, which also includes vetting and interacting with those individuals and families who have registered as potential foster homes through our organization.

Primarily at this time we are looking for 3 new FCL volunteers to cover the states within our Northeast Region. This includes a FCL for New England area (includes the states of DE, CT, MA, NH, RI, and VT) plus a FCL to cover New York and a FCL to cover New Jersey. Please note it is not required to reside in a specific state shown above since you would be working from home via the Internet and phone.

This is a virtual volunteer role where your efforts can be accomplished via the phone and Internet (emails) in your home during the evenings and Saturday (depending on your available time) and includes the following criteria:

  • A passion to help our military service members, wounded warriors, veterans, and families of our fallen warriors.
  • Interact and maintain communication with our registered potential foster homes, plus work with others (inside and outside the organization) as required
  • Be a self-starter, has excellent organizational, interpersonal, and management skills, plus able to work independently and as a “team” player.
  • Understand and agree to follow and adhere to the Organization’s mission, purpose, operating procedures, and organizational policies/guidelines.
  • Comfortable using and access to MS office (such as Word, Excel), communicate via the internet, phone calls, and email.
  • Previous customer service, volunteer nonprofit managerial and animal related coordination/placement experience helpful
  • Help promote the organization, its mission, and programs with others via sharing our flyers, brochures, and other items as requested by the organization’s National office.
  • Able to commit at least 1 year in this position
  • Provide the required monthly reports (coordination activity and volunteer service hours) by the date as determined by the organization’s National office.
  • Estimated Volunteer Time per Month: averaging 25-30 hours – Please be advised actual hours per month is variable on a state by state basis.

 

Those interested in learning more about the volunteer positions or to apply, visit HERE.  Thank you in advance for your interest to support our organization with this volunteer role.

In Memory of Cherie Nicole Boudreaux

(July 5, 1974 – February 23, 2016)

Volunteer for Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet as
National Treasurer,
TX Warriors’ Angels Coordination Liaison,
South Regional Director,
TX Director, and
TX Foster Coordination Liaison
between
September 19, 2011 and February 23, 2016.

TVCS-OurInfoTable

Happy Anniversary to our October Anniversaries!

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We would like to wish a very Happy Anniversary to the volunteers who celebrate an anniversary during the month of October:

10/25 – Eileen C., NY Community Outreach Liaison – 4 years
10/30 – Danielle M., Southeast, Southern, and Northwest Region Director / Training Director – 2 years

THANK YOU for everything you do and wish you a great day!

We truly appreciate your dedication and hard work in helping our military service members and their beloved pets.

Jumping in Head First

As a new volunteer for Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet© (GAfSP) I thought I’d wade in the water slowly just getting my feet wet. But as soon as I realized how over-worked some of the truly devoted, long time volunteers were I “volunteered” to help out. I didn’t mind the extra responsibilities. In fact I began to feel like I had a purpose in life again. You see I hadn’t been working for a few years and I wasn’t feeling very useful. Hence, finding a group that I was passionate about and volunteering. Little did I know that I would soon be jumping into the deep end head first! I was given the task of finding a foster home for two dogs belonging to Airman Mary.   Mary’s deployment was short term so I figured how hard can it be to find a foster home for her dogs for such a short tour? You guessed it…much harder than I thought!

Rob Laurie Nico and Remi
Laurie, her husband and their two dogs

Airman Mary was based out of New Jersey so I began calling all of the foster homes listed in New Jersey whose circumstances seemed to be compatible with caring for Tully and Kona. Hours went by, my fingers were sore from dialing the phone, my ear was numb from having the phone pressed so tightly against my head and I was going cross-eyed trying to read each number that I dialed. After two days of frantically making calls I was in full panic mode! And that’s where the beauty of working for such a great organization as GAfSP comes in. I reached out for help and people came running. I was thrown a life preserver from two wonderful women. Victoria S., Northeast Region Director and Jaime M., Foster Home Coordinator for Pennsylvania. With their help I was able to keep afloat while continuing my search. I never did find anybody in New Jersey to foster Tully and Kona. But since Mary’s base was close to Pennsylvania I was able to begin dialing away on the Pennsylvania foster home list provided to me by Jaime. With so many more possibilities I once again believed that this would be an easy task. But Noooo. As my grip began to slip off of the life preserver and I was starting to drown I got another small life line. It was suggested that I send out an urgent, mass e-mail to foster homes in both states. It was a pain staking process because I had to manually copy and paste each e-mail address from the state lists that had been compiled over time. But once I was finished I sent out the e-mail and then all I could do was pray! Finally I was sent a giant life boat! Not one of the approved foster homes stepped forward but some kind soul did forward my e-mail message to a friend and that woman e-mailed me saying she wanted to help. I wanted to jump through the phone and hug her when I called to talk to her. She would have to be rushed through the screening process and approved at warp speed. (Thank you Linda and Jaime.) Once again members of GAfSP stepped up to the plate and made sure that our new recruit got approval just in time for her to meet up with Mary, Kona and Tully. The Guardian Angels were watching over Mary and her dogs that day because the home was a perfect fit for Kona and Tully. Mary loved the woman who had so graciously opened her doors to care for her furbabies and the woman loved Tully and Kona and felt blessed to be able to help out someone who was serving our great country. This for me was the gratification I was seeking. Despite getting drenched, in the long run, my efforts paid off and I felt a tremendous sense of satisfaction that I too had helped out a person serving our country.

Many more Foster Home Coordinators are still needed! Please check out the states that have been defined as needing help the most.

Note: Airman’s name has been changed due to OPSEC guidelines.

– Article written by Laurie Sickles. 

Foster Coordination Liaison Volunteer Recruiting Need

We are looking for individuals who wish to become part of the Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet mission as a Foster Coordination Liaison (FCL) involved with working with our service members, wounded warriors, veterans, and families of our fallen warriors who need assistance via our MVP Foster Home program, which also includes vetting and interacting with those individuals and families who have registered as potential foster homes through our organization.

Primarily at this time we are looking for FCLs to cover the states of AR/OK, AZ, CO, LA, MN, MO, NV, AL/GA, NC/SC, TN, VA/WV, MD/DC, and TX.

This is a virtual volunteer role where your efforts can be accomplished via the phone and Internet (emails) and includes the following criteria:

  • A passion to help our military service members, wounded warriors, veterans, and families of our fallen warriors.
  • Interact and maintain communication with our registered potential foster homes, plus work with others (inside and outside the organization) as required
  • Be a self-starter, has excellent organizational, interpersonal, and management skills, plus able to work independently and as a “team” player.
  • Understand and agree to follow and adhere to the Organization’s mission, purpose, operating procedures, and organizational policies/guidelines.
  • Comfortable using and access to MS office (such as Word, Excel), communicate via the internet, phone calls, and email.
  • Previous customer service, volunteer nonprofit managerial and animal related coordination/placement experience helpful
  • Help promote the organization, it’s mission, and programs with others via sharing our flyers, brochures, and other items as requested by the organization’s National office.
  • Able to commit at least 1 year in this position
  • Provide the required monthly reports (coordination activity and volunteer service hours) by the date as determined by the organization’s National office.
  • Estimated Volunteer Time per Month: averaging 25-30 hours – Please be advised actual hours per month is variable on a state by state basis.

Those interested in learning more about the volunteer positions or to apply, visit HERE.

Teaching old dogs new tricks: A Tail of the Beagle Boyz

Our experience fostering two beagles through Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet© was the best! We had dogs all of our lives and two years after our last one died we were still missing having one around the house. However, we didn’t feel ready to begin another 15 year relationship. I looked into a fostering opportunity and found Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet.

After several starts and stops with potential pups we were finally matched with the Beagle Boyz. Their owner supplied everything we needed for the Boyz to begin their deployment with us, crate, leashes, collars, pre-paid credit card, shot records, food, and snacks. I had been a school nurse for a dozen years so I appreciated receiving the immunizations and medical history which was so much better than ones I filed on school children. I was also humbled and moved by the thoroughness of Captain J with all that she had to do for her own deployment she fully applied her military precision to the resettlement of her Boyz. That’s when I realized how easy it would be to deal with the military, the I’s were dotted & the T’s were crossed.

My husband and I were the unknown variables in the equations. We had to tune into the Boyz’ personalities, establish our ranks, and give the fellows a sense of safety and security. A barrel of monkeys may have been more sedated than two excited beagles. But the Boyz were funny, affectionate, even grateful for the first seven days as we let them establish a routine. We felt so sorry for them since their lives were disrupted but that was our mistake, allowing the inmates to run the asylum.

The Boyz already had a pack order, Captain J., Lt. Tucker, and Private Clancy. However, after a week with us, Pvt. Clancy saw the opportunity for a coup seeking potentate status while Tucker promoted himself to Major and I was on mess hall duty. They got full of themselves with a new woman in the house and upset the whole order. One ferocious fight broke out in the living room, one that would have required a fire hose to suppress had they been outside. Wearing stove gloves for our protection and draping them in blankets, we separated them and retired them to neutral corners. They spent the night in different parts of the house while I stayed up watching the Dog Whisperer on Netflix.

Dawn came and so did their new world order. A “command voice” with an iron fist in the velvet glove declared to them just how the rest of their deployment would play out. With Caesar’s direction I took control. From that day on, the Boyz were greeted with my morning affirmation, “I’m the Leader of the Pack” (temporarily). Being overly indulgent, allowing them to neglect their manners, and not giving them clear leadership simply unleashed them. They got all fouled up and it was a real strain on us.

In no time at all, order was established and they knew what to expect and how to behave. The fault was ours so it was up to us to protect the Boyz from themselves. The next eight and a half months went very, very well. No more outbursts or confusion. Tucker did maintain his battlefield promotion to Major and in a matter of weeks Clancy was promoted to Sargent. They were a honor to the Army, although many former Marines speculated that Clancy had some Marine in him.

All dogs need structure and an obvious chain of command. The dogs from Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet already understand that by virtue of being the dogs of military families. But you can teach old dogs and old civilians new tricks.

-Written by Joanne, Foster Mom in Indiana

 

Meeting the Beagle Boyz

It’s Memorial Day 2014, a day of considerable weight for me as I think of those who have given all of themselves for the U.S.  It’s a day for looking back and remembering. It was the week of Memorial Day 2013 that we met the our Beagle Boyz for the first time.

A few years ago I’d been thinking of a way to do something proactive for the military, perhaps even for an individual soldier. I wasn’t affiliated with any military organizations, didn’t live near a base and didn’t have any particular skill set…or did I?

Our family was still feeling the loss of our 16 year old Brittany, Shivas Irons, and didn’t want to get into another 16 year dog experience but we missed that canine contribution to our home. My husband and I are dog people and if I do say so myself I’m good with dogs, know basic commands, and scoop poop with polished discretion. I began looking for some sort of pet fostering opportunities when I came across Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet  and signed up online. It was a comprehensive application and eventually we were approved as a foster family.

Due to various travel commitments in the winter of 2012/2013 we had to turn down two Pit Bulls, a Boxer, and a Dalmatian. I was beginning to question my own commitment to Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet by wondering if I was chickening out by being so unavailable. I’m sure the Indiana Foster Coordination Liaison, Carol, was about to give up on asking me to foster but I told her to call me at the end of April 2013 when my life would be getting into a more regular schedule. And call she did, on April 30.

Carol had an Army Captain who had two Beagles. Hmm, two Beagles sound easy enough, I thought. Carol put me in touch with the Captain so we could correspond and try to determine if her dogs could fit in well with us. The Captain and I e-mailed for a week or two learning about each other. We discovered we shared similar first names with a “Jo” prefix. She was just a bit older than our children. Her mom and I are nurses. She described her dogs with such tender affection and allowed that they were her children.

It was her passion for her babies that inspired her colleagues to give her a unique nickname, they called her Jo-Momma. When I learned that all my apprehension melted away, it was a SIGN. I had the same nickname of Jo-Momma given to me by the children of my friends as well as my niece and nephews. What are the odds of two Jo-Mommas finding each other? One Jo-Momma must GO serve while giving the other Jo-Momma the opportunity TO serve. It was a MATCH!

As it turned out, my husband, Bob, and I had a road trip over Memorial Day weekend 2013. As I unfolded the map (yes, we are THAT old) I noticed that we could make a two or three hour detour and cruise through Captain Jo’s town. It would be a chance to meet the dogs and the Captain and to see (and smell) her home. Was her furniture in tatters from compulsive chewers? Was her carpeting stained? Did the place have the aroma of a kennel? I called Jo the evening before our proposed surprise visit and she eagerly accepted our rude imposition.

In the early afternoon we arrived at Jo’s home. We were standing on the front porch when a lovely young woman opened the door. The activity behind her was revving up as some unrecognizable, high-speed blurred bodies shot by. However, one object was standing perfectly still as we entered the foyer. What in the world was that creature? “You said she had two Beagles. That’s not a Beagle, it’s a pony,” my husband HISSED in my ear.  Jo immediately read Bob’s panic and quickly assured us that the Mastiff/Great Dane mix belonged to a friend and was just visiting. Whoosh and the blur of Beagle bodies made another pass through the house. Jo led us into her cozy living room next to her neatly appointed dining room. Her home was immaculate and all the furniture was intact with no tell tale stains.

No sooner than we were seated, the Beagles swooped into the living room and screeched to a full stop right in front of us. With their high speed performance completed, it was time to turn on the charm and oh, are Beagles charming. Within a few minutes we were all in!  But would Captain Jo approve of us? Did she want this middle-aged couple in charge of her Boyz? These dogs would be a handful and could she trust us to care for them? They’re escape artists, noisy, frisky, did I mention noisy? I really wanted to offer our home to Captain Jo’s dogs. More importantly, I wanted to give her the security of knowing we would faithfully care for her pups. She had a tremendous responsibility with a sworn duty to serve the country. After our visit, we waited for her approval and once we received it we waited for the big day when the Boyz would come to stay with us.

To be continued…

-Written by Joanne, Foster Mom in Indiana

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