Society

Michigan School Raises Money To Replace Vet’s Service Dog

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A Michigan elementary school raised $4,500 in pennies to buy a service dog for a Lansing Marine Corps combat veteran.

Eric Calley, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, lost his service dog Liberty to cancer in January, according to CBS Detroit.

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Students at Musson Elementary School in Oakland County started a penny drive to help Calley.

Calley spoke at a school assembly on Thursday to thank the students. He said he is “humbled” that they raised so much money just to help him. He said that service dogs “do something that’s so great” for veterans.

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In November 2012, MLive wrote a feature on Calley, who helped found the non-profit organization "The Fight Continue," which assists veterans in readjusting to civilian life. The non-profit helped organize 200 national events across the country to read the names of 600,000 fallen soldiers on Veterans Day.

Calley survived two tours of duty in Kuwait and Iraq. He was honorably discharged in 2006.

"But after my second tour, things were different," Calley told MLive. "When I came home, things didn't click right with me and society."

The Veterans Day event was meant to give veterans a chance to get involved in their community and help them meet other veterans.

"I don't care who you are or whether you're for or against war, but these people got us to where we are today," Calley said. "You don't realize how much a handshake or 'thank you' means, and there's no better day to honor them and the fallen that fought for our freedom."

Sources: WNEM, CBS Detroit, MLive