Our retired Chaplain, Rev. Canon Walt Crites, will soon be the recipient of a Service Dog for the Deaf. As you know, Chaplain Crites retired after he totally lost his hearing, making it very difficult for him to attend meetings and attend to comrades in need.

curly

Curly

Service Dogs are specifically trained for varied tasks. They are usually, but not always, secured from humane shelters. Some are bred for specified tasks, but the cost of breeding and training goes up considerably, hence “rescue dogs” are usually the preferred source. Even so, the cost of rescue, boarding, and training often exceeds $5,000 for a well-trained dog – no matter what the training task.

Chaplain Walt applied to several agencies before he found Partners for Patriots, a non-profit charity in Sioux City, Iowa. This organization locates and trains dogs for special needs veterans in need of assistance in their daily living routine – at no cost to the veteran. Fr. Walt qualified as a veteran of the Korean and Viet Nam Wars who lost his hearing due to military activities in a war zone.

He was soon paired with a Springer Spaniel mix-breed named “Curly,” who will be fully trained shortly after the first of the year 2017, when Chaplain Walt and his wife Bea will accept him. A trainer accompanies the new dog, and trains Chaplain Walt and Curly for about a week in how to get along and reinforce the learned training routines. Chaplain Walt claims “you CAN teach an old dog new tricks,” and is looking forward to the experience.

Partners for Patriots exists on donations and fund raisers, and Chaplain Walt wants to help the next vet who comes calling by raising $5-7,000 in a “Go Fund Me” campaign. After researching several sites, he decided to go with The gofundme website, whose website is https://www.gofundme.com/deaf-korean-war-vet-service-dog. This link actually goes to Chaplain Walt’s Facebook/Gofundme page, where one can make a contribution to Partners for Patriots if they are so inclined.

Chaplain Crites served Post 541 for eight years, helping out many during his tenure. Now it’s his turn to be the recipient of a helping hand. Any amount will be appreciated greatly.