"These stories will make you laugh and, of course, cry - and if you don't have one, they will make you desperately wish for a pet...So enjoy this wonderful book."
-From the Foreword by former First Lady Barbara Bush, founder of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy
"As someone who has seen first-hand the special significance of service pets and how they truly bring a healing joy to our service members, this new book Vets and Pets: Wounded Warriors and the Animals That Help Them Heal, by Dava Guerin and Kevin Ferris, illustrates their enduring bonds. I'm hopeful that this book will also bring awareness to the great non-profit programs that support our warriors, and the dedicated Americans who care about our heroes both human and animal. Together, they help each other heal from the visible and invisible wounds of war."
-Gary Sinise, award-winning actor, veterans' advocate, and founder of the Gary Sinise Foundation, which serves our nation's defenders and their families
"Thank you to Dava Guerin and Kevin Ferris for this compilation of compelling stories created in an effort to raise awareness about the many benefits of encouraging and facilitating animal adoptions for members of the military community."
-From the Foreword by Andrea Arden, Animal Planet's pet expert and New York City's best dog trainer, as named by New York magazine and the Daily News
"Dava Guerin and Kevin Ferris have tapped into one of the most important ways in which wounded troops are managing to heal by leaning on their pets. In some cases these highly trained dogs sniffed out mines and saved troops' lives in the war zone. Now they are literally saving those lives again as these warriors learn to navigate back home. A poignant tale of survival and resilience."
-Jennifer Griffin, FOX News
"Vets and Pets is filled with moving stories about the wounds our warriors suffer, not all of them physical, and the way their pets and service animals help make them whole again. The vets Guerin and Ferris profile have served their country with courage and honor; the pets they profile have loved and protected these vets when they are most vulnerable. You will finish this book understanding how a love of animals makes us more human."
-Peter Collier, New York Times bestselling author of Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty
"We pet owners have long known the medicinal value that comes from loving animals. No wonder, then, that many of our returning veterans, themselves facing the gravest of injuries, have found solace and a path toward mental health from the company of service dogs and companion animals. In Vets and Pets, Dava Guerin and Kevin Ferris provide an uplifting collection of 14 stories about wounded warriors and those who have aided their rehabilitation: Tessa, the cat; pigs Darwin, Greta and Sir Gaddy; Max the horse; a pit bull named Cossack; Crixus, a German shepherd pit bull mix; Isaac, a golden Labrador mix; and many more. Vets and Pets is an overdue salute to American heroes - those who have worn the uniform of their country - and the four-legged friends with whom they have bonded on the road to recovery."
-Michael Smerconish, radio and TV host, columnist, New York Times bestselling author
"Most of us cannot imagine the challenges our wounded warriors face when they come home. Dava Guerin and Kevin Ferris tell their stories honestly and beautifully. And Vets and Pets brings you inside one of the little-known corners of that world: How soldiers and their companion animals bond and help one another make new lives. Vets and Pets will touch your soul and inspire your heart."
-Jonathan V. Last, senior writer at The Weekly Standard and author of The Dadly Virtues and What to Expect When No One's Expecting
"Kevin Ferris and Dava Guerin have done it again, writing another important book honoring our veterans. The special bonds and relationships forged between veterans and their pets comes to vivid life in this powerful book through over a dozen stories. The healing power of these companions is evident as they ease the physical and invisible scars of war. Inspiring and uplifting."
-Patrick K. O'Donnell, bestselling author and historian of 11 books, including: The Unknowns and Washington's Immortals
"Anyone who loves our veterans or pets will come away from this book reinvigorated and restored. We ask much of our veterans: devotion, loyalty, and bravery. And they give it without hesitation. As a nation, we should provide the same and take example from their pet companions, who do so much to help them re-join society."
-John Yoo, former Deputy Assistant U.S. Attorney General and current Emanuel S. Heller Professor of Law, University of California at Berkeley School of Law
“Vets and Pets begins with a disturbing statistic: More than 300,000 veterans have been injured in fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, many suffering from traumatic brain injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder. This book tells the story of some wounded soldiers like Marine Cpl. Justin Crabbe, who lost his legs, a thumb and fingers in an explosion in Afghanistan. Read about his relationship with his service dog Gnome and witness the unbelievable healing power of pets.”
-Jennifer Lin, author of Shanghai Faithful: Betrayal & Forgiveness in a Chinese Christian Family
"Few bonds have the intensity as those forged in the military - ties that too often fray when service members return to civilian life, just when they’re most needed. Vets and Pets shades that narrative with compassion and humor and hope with its 14 tales of wounded warriors and the animal companions whose loyal, steady presence eases injuries disabling to body and psyche alike. 'I don’t see Max as a horse,' says a Navy vet. 'I see him as a comrade, as a friend.'”
-Gwen Florio, author of the Lola Wicks mystery series
"Talented authors and true patriots, Dava Guerin and Kevin Ferris have once again stepped up to honor America’s true heroes - our veterans. In Vets and Pets, Guerin and Ferris compassionately explore the invaluable role that animals play in the healing of our wounded warriors and the unbreakable bond that invariably ensues. Often heartrending yet always inspiring, the 14 stories told in Vets and Pets will ultimately renew your faith that honor, love and devotion tenaciously endure - and that they are not the exclusive domain of those who walk upright."
-Nick Brandi, Literary Editor, Westchester Magazine and Coastal Style
"We reach, and they’re near. We call, and they come. They sense what we don’t choose to say or never would say to anyone. We hold our pets near, and the vets in these moving stories hold their dogs and birds and horses and pigs especially near - as guides, as protection, as most accommodating friends. Dava Guerin and Kevin Ferris have searched for and found the light in the lives of our wounded warriors."
-Beth Kephart, author of 22 books, including Handling the Truth: On the Writing of Memoirand Tell the Truth. Make It Matter.
"I've known Bob for almost my entire life, from when we were both teenagers in Tennessee to the days when we worked together in Washington, D.C. We share a deep love of country, a trait that was obvious in Bob's tireless work for people of Tennessee and the United States. His autobiography, "Presidents, Kings and Convicts," givers readers and inside look into Bob's remarkable life from Nashville to the nation's capitol."
-Former Vice President Al Gore
"Bob has written a wonderful book, and it captures the spirit of Music City USA. It also will inspire readers anywhere in the country and hopefully encourage them to serve. The chapter on country music captures the magic of Nashville and its rle as a world class city and the home of one of the greatest musical genres of the world. Thanks you, Bob, for writing it!"
-Steve Turner, chairman of the board of the County Music Hall of Fame
"As someone who has written books, I know what it takes to write a story that would appeal to anyone interested in a better and happier life. Mike has accomplished this and more with Keep Chopping Wood. It is a must-read, and I look forward to sharing Mike's exceptional life story with my listeners and readers."
-Dave Ramsey, New York Times best-selling author and talk radio show host
"Success leaves clues. If you study the lives of successful people, you will find that who they are is just as important as what they do. Success isn't about luck - it's about determination. It's about putting one foot in front of the other no matter what happens. It's ident that you are holding this book in your hands right now. As the old saying goes, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." Mike Hardwick and his hard-won wisdom to inspire you to reach new heights in every aspect of your life. Keep Chopping Wood is the Think and Grow Rich of the twenty-first century."
-Brad Thor, #1 New York Times best-selling author of Code of Conduct
"Mike and I have forged a friendship over the past few years and have shared some great conversations about our similar experiences with success and failure. I've always been impressed how Mike has taken his failures and used them as fuel in his internal engine like rocket fuel in pursuit of happiness and the American dream. Keep Chopping Wood is a book that I relate to personally and have found to be an inspiration as I continue to work hard and experience various degrees of success and failure. I would recommend this book to anyone who has a passion for hard work and entrepreneurism, and never puts down the hammer or the axe. Just keep on Chopping Wood and you'll get there!"
-John Rich, singer and songwriter with the music group Big and Rich
Unbreakable Bonds tells ten touching stories of mothers who spent years aiding the recovery of their children, US soldiers and Marines who suffered severe injuries during the War on Terror. The survival of these wounded warriors is a testament not only to the extraordinary efforts of military medical personnel and their own inner fortitude, but also to their mothers. These women put their lives on hold from the moment they get that first call about their injured son or daughter, giving up their homes and careers and leaving behind family and friends. They are ever present, from those agonizing early days in intensive care, through dozens of lifesaving operations and the months and years of both triumphs and setbacks during therapy and rehabilitation. Their commitment, like the wounds their children suffer, is lifelong.
Unbreakable Bonds showcases the selfless love and support of the mothers who, like their wounded warriors, have been changed forever, and who have, without hesitation, sacrificed greatly for their country. They also find strength through the exclusive network of caregivers, who are there not only for their sons and daughters, but for each other as well. With forewords from former president George H. W. Bush and former Maryland congresswoman Connie Morella, this book will appeal to US service members and their loved ones—and those without ties to the military will gain appreciation for those who risk so much to serve our country.
You realize that the Mother/child bond is so important to a person's well being, and if that bond is never made in childhood a person will suffer hie/her whole life. The Kevlar helmets, body armor, rapid in field first aid and in a field hospital in less than 30 minutes keeps our troops alive. All of the troops in these stories would have died during Vietnam.
One of the best written real life stories of real life people going through real life crisis as a result of the wars we are fighting for our freedom! I wish this was a mandatory read for every American so they realize what some go through so we all can remain free!
When our wounded warriors return from fighting overseas, the battle is not yet over. What comes after is long-term rehabilitation and recovery from the injuries these fighting men and women have suffered. In this short book, we get to see the relationship between these servicemen and their mothers, and the bond it forges between them. While the book is slim, it is very powerful and moving all the same. Each chapter focuses on a particular mother/son combination. It explores the traumas, uncertainties, and the road to leading a normal life. It brings us real life experience, for a culture that largely ignores the wounded and praises the ones who return home unharmed. This type of book is one to make you support the wounded veterans of America, and it does a good job of that by bringing the human side to it. This is not quite a memoir, but is recollections of the mother/son combination, and what they go through. And, this book will serve to help those whom are still recovering from the wounds they suffered while fighting in the military.
-Reviewed by Kevin Winter, San Francisco Book Review
This book provides you with a small glimpse into the lives of 10 Moms from Walter Reed who gave up everything to help their children heal from the wounds of war.
The role of the non-spousal caregiver is hardly ever told. It was great to see ten examples of how our nation's wounded don't always have a spouse to help them heal. It is a dialog that needs to get out there.
I would recommend this book to anyone looking to be inspired by stories of unconditional love and sacrifice.
"In ways that are both heart-breaking and yet uplifting,
Unbreakable Bonds celebrates two groups of heroes whom I pray for every night: Wounded Warriors and mothers."
-Former President George H. W. Bush