November DoD Honor Guard Nominations

We are excited to share November's nominations to our DoD Honor Guard! We know we're a couple weeks late on posting. The holidays were crazy (for you too we're sure) and we launched our 12 Days of Giving where we aimed to raise $25,000 for Giving Tuesday, thanks to great partnerships like Spy Optic, Lazy Dog Cookies, Bowser Beer, and more. We extend a warm thanks to Tractor Supply Co, who not only is one of our 2020 Sponsors and partner for the Honor Guard Program, but also donated gift cards to our Giving campaign!

Selected volunteers recognized in the 2020 Dogs on Deployment Honor Guard:

  • will receive a $250.00 Tractor Supply Co. gift card, to be donated by TSC;
  • will be recognized in Dogs on Deployment marketing communications, including this Military Tails Blog, the DoD newsletter, and social media;
  • will receive a signed thank you card from Dogs on Deployment CEO, Alisa Johnson;
  • will receive a certification of appreciation from Tractor Supply Co; and,
  • will earn a badge on their DoD Boarder online profile.

Category of DoD Boarder

Michelle Beckman

With Gratitude from Corrie Canche, US Navy

"Michelle and her family took in my animals with open arms and were so accommodating. She understood that being away from your animals takes a toll, and she was always great with communicating and updating me while I was away. Not only that, but she even created an Instagram page for my animals, where she posted pictures and videos frequently so that I could see how they were doing. Michelle and her family were so wonderful and welcoming to me and my animals in my time of need and their selfless service will not be forgotten."

Darlene Spihlmann

With Gratitude from Lance Guyton, US Air Force

"Darlene has helped watch my dog for me over 5 deployments for the past 6 years she’s become more of a second grandmother for my dog and she loves him like family. She’s getting older and I think it would be nice if she were rewarded in some kind of way. The things she’s done for Jett has been wonderful considering I thought I would have to get rid of him after raising him for roughly a year I’ve since moved from Illinois but I continue to count on her as she’s a familiar face and Jett really has come to love and enjoy her company."

Traci Davis

With Gratitude from Derek Steele, US Army

"While deployed, Traci took exceptional care of Buster. She would text me weekly with photos and updates on how Buster was doing! She also would take him to doggy daycare to visit his friends and get ample play time in. She even took him to the vet so he could receive his annual vaccinations. I was in desperate need of someone to watch Buster because all my options had fallen through and I was scheduled to depart in a couple weeks, luckily Traci reached out and I couldn’t have asked for anyone better to take care of Buster while I was away!"

Donna Muccione

With Gratitude from Sadie Martin, US Army

"Donna took on all three of our animals, one dog and two cats, allowing them to keep a portion of our family together. They're all shelter animals so having them stick together was super important. She consistently sent adorable pictures and even taught our dog new tricks and how to play fetch! I loved that she truly merged our families through our animals. Additionally, when we returned, due to the pandemic, we were quarantined in our house and they drove the 1.5 hours to return them to us so our family would be complete again. I am so grateful to have them as our boarders. I know our animals felt loved and we gained new friends in the process."

Rhonda & Mike Collins

With Gratitude from Michelle Parlette, US Army

"Upon my first "meet and greet" with Mike and Rhonda at their house in Texas, I knew they would be perfect foster parents for Peanut during my deployment. They had boarded with Dogs on Deployment before, had three spoiled rescue dogs of their own and a house that they custom built with multiple doggie doors leading to a multi-acre yard and a dog-friendly in-ground pool for those hot Texas days. Although their house was immaculately clean, I knew that their dogs ran the house when one of them jumped up onto the Texas-sized dining room table!

While I was deployed, Rhonda sent photos of Peanut over Facebook at least four times a week. Having never used a doggie door, she sent videos of Peanut learning from the other dogs how to use the door and to race along the fenceline barking at the deer (I'm pretty sure Peanut didn't even know how to bark before staying with the Collins family). For every holiday, including the lesser celebrated ones such as St. Patricks Day, Mike would record a video of Rhonda and Peanut wishing me a happy holiday. Peanut was always decked out in something appropriate to the holiday. They even bought Peanut a little lifejacket so that she could enjoy the pool with them and the other pups. The photos and videos always brought an immediate smile to my face. I would watch the videos and view the photos over and over, and show them off to my fellow Soldiers, who got to know Peanut from afar. Although we narrowly lost the Dogs on Deployment Military Pet of the Year competition in 2017, she certainly gained a lot of fans simply from the videos that Mike and Rhonda sent.

I couldn't have asked for a more perfect foster Family than Mike and Rhonda. They treated Peanut as one of their own. The piece of mind that she was being well cared for was beyond reassuring. I am beyond grateful to Dogs on Deployment for linking me with the Collins family, and am thankful to have gained lifelong friends with Mike and Rhonda."

Michelle, owner of our 2018 Military Pet of the Year & DoD Mascot, Peanut, is also being recognized as a DoD Honor Guard Pet Owner.

Category of Military Member & Pet Owner

Christopher Vogel, US Air Force

Christopher Vogel, US Air Force, and his family received orders to PCS ("Permanent Change of Station") from the US to Germany. They planned to bring their two rescue dogs, Atlas and Juno, who meant the world to them. Both dogs had poor lives before being rescued by the Vogel family, and they couldn't comprehend leaving their dogs behind. However, the costs to move pets overseas is already expensive, but with the increase in airfare costs due to COVID, the sum was very challenging for the family to cover. They applied for a Pet Chit Financial Assistance Grant, and thanks to the sponsorship of Tractor Supply Co, Dogs on Deployment was able to help partially fund Atlas and Juno's flights to Germany. The family will receive additional recognition from Tractor Supply Co, as a part of being recognized in our Honor Guard.

Additional pet owners to receive a Tractor Supply Gift card as a part of the DoD Honor Guard for the month of November include:

  • Michelle Parlette, US Army
  • Jonathan Caudill, US Navy
  • Steven Fink, US Army (Veteran)
  • Elijah McPhail, US Army

Dogs on Deployment extends a very special thanks to Tractor Supply Co. (TCS). Read more about our incredible partnership in 2020 by clicking here.

Follow the DoD Honor Guard program with #dodhonorguard!