Tag Archives: Free Brian Peixoto Facebook

My baby is having a baby

Greetings to all,

My family and I are celebrating some wonderful news. A few weeks ago my daughter, Amber, and her boyfriend, Anthony surprised me with a visit. They came in to the prison’s visiting room because they wanted me to be the first to hear their news. They wanted to tell me that I am going to be a grandfather. WOW! They are having a baby! I was shocked. It came as a wonderful surprise. My entire family is so excited and filled with happiness at the news. We are blessed.

Of course, my immediate reaction was of great joy and excitement. My daughter is having a baby. My heart was smiling to see the happiness on her face; on both their faces. And I was filled with love and happiness for them. I have always been proud of my daughter, what she has overcome and the woman she is today. And, I know in my heart that she will be an amazing mother.

However, later, in the quiet loneliness of my prison cell, in the dark isolation of my thoughts, some reality landed in my heart…

Best buddies

In 1996, when I was arrested and locked away in prison, I was torn from my family and accused of a horrific crime. My family and I were suddenly forced into this desperate and futile struggle, fighting an enormous, crushing criminal justice system. Suddenly I was in a fight for my life, trying desperately to prove my innocence. It was unimaginably hard on me and my family. We were in over our heads. We didn’t know what to do. I was a young, twenty-six-year-old man. And my daughter, Amber, was only four.

Those days were very difficult, but it was especially hard on Amber. It was very confusing. Her daddy was suddenly gone and she couldn’t understand why. We all did the best we could to help her understand. But how do you explain to a little girl why her daddy can’t come home with her? How do you explain that he can’t pick her up and hold her, or tuck her into bed at night, or kiss her boo-boos with magical daddy kisses anymore? How do you explain that daddy is in prison charged with first degree murder?

Whether it was the right choice or not, at first we chose not to tell her. After all, we still held on to hope that this horrible mistake would be discovered, the truth would come out, and I would be returned to Amber and my family. Unfortunately, that’s not what happened.

After years of fading hope, Brian had to tell his 8-year-old daughter that daddy was accused and convicted of a crime he did not commit.

After my trial, we continued to hold out hope that the next appeal would bring me home. However, Amber was getting older and starting to piece together what was going on. I had to attempt to help her understand. So, at eight-years-old, in the prison’s visiting room I had to explain to my daughter that daddy was accused and convicted of a crime he did not commit.

It was still very hard for Amber; we could not protect her from everything. Amber had to live with the bad things people were saying about me. After all, to the many people who read the newspapers, I was a child killer. But to Amber, I was just her daddy. At school Amber was often bullied, and she was forced to live with the stigma of having a convicted child killer as a father. Some kids were very cruel, as kids can sometimes be. Fortunately, Amber was also supported by some good, loyal friends and some wonderful teachers. For that I was grateful. Through it all, Amber did what she had to do to survive and she bravely persevered.

Vovô, Amber and Vovó

For me and my family, time was often measured in what was lost; what was missed. For example, holidays and birthdays; me not being at my sister’s wedding; missing the birth of my niece; and me not being with my family to grieve the passing of my grandparents. But for Amber it was much worse. She had to learn to grow up with her father in prison. I began measuring time by what Amber was losing; what I was missing. What I was missing became something that tortured me during my dark times of loneliness and despair. The years were ticking by. My family did an amazing job at trying to keep me in Amber’s life. Phone calls, mail and weekly visits replaced my daily presence. My family attempted to keep some normalcy in Amber’s young life and minimize my absence. At times it was a struggle. Amber’s life went on without me.

This beach brat loved the tide pools!

I would get letters from my family telling me about what was going on in Amber’s life, what I was missing. Things like, when Amber lost her first tooth and how they put it under her pillow to wait for the Tooth Fairy; enclosed was a picture of her toothless smile. Amber’s first day of school, I got a picture of her dressed in her little plaid uniform. There were days when Amber would just cry and say, “I want my daddy.” Then, I got pictures of Amber joyfully playing in the tide-pools at the beach with grandpa. I was on the phone with her when she was crying because she stepped on a bee with her barefoot.

Bare feet and bumblebees don’t mix. Ouch!

I received drawings and hand-made cards from Amber telling me, “I love you Daddy.” In the visiting room, Amber would run to me and jump into my arms. I got a picture of Amber opening gifts on Christmas morning with messy bed hair and an excited smirk on her little face. I received a letter telling me that today Amber learned to ride a big-girl bike all by herself. In the prison visiting room I read Amber books and we made drawings together. Amber was so proud when she made honor roll; she mailed me a copy of her Morton “M” from school.

The honor student

At a visit, Amber told me about her first school dance and how she had no one to dance with her during the daddy and daughter dance. Then, a boy broke her heart; but I was not there to tell her that it would be ok and that there will be other boys. I got pictures of Amber and her friends at her sweet sixteen party-she looked so happy. In the mail I got a copy of Amber’s high school diploma with pictures of her in her red robe. Everyone was there except me.

Dad is very proud of his high school graduate!

Amber sent me pictures of different gowns she wanted to wear to prom. I picked the one that covered the most skin.  Amber turned 18 and started visiting me on her own.  After a visit, a prison guard said to me that he watched my daughter grow up in the prison’s visiting center. I cried as I walked back to my cell block. During a phone call, Amber told me that she was starting college. Later this month Amber will be 26, the same age I was when they handcuffed me and took me away from her. Now, Amber is going to meetings with my legal team and involved in the fight to prove her father’s innocence.

 

“After a visit, a prison guard said to me that he watched my daughter grow up in the prison’s visiting center. I cried as I walked back to my cell block.”
– Amber turns 18

Twenty-one years have passed. It was more than just birthdays and holidays that were missed; it was her entire life. At every milestone, every memory of Amber’s childhood, her father was not there. I was not there. I was in prison for a crime I did not commit.

Now, Amber is having a child of her own. My baby is having a baby. While I do not want in any way to diminish or overshadow this very happy news, I can’t help but to think of how me not being there is going to affect her; one more very important time in her life that she will be without her father. One more part of her life that I will miss, unable to be by her side.

Amber and Anthony sent me their birth announcement for me to send to our family. She said, “I want my dad to feel included and not left out.” I’m a lucky man. They recently came to the prison to tell me they were having a boy. Once again, they wanted to make it special for me. I was told I would know the gender when I walked into the visiting room. There they were, in blue shirts. They told me that my grandson’s middle name will be Brian, after his papa. I fill up every time I think about my grandson having my name. My heart is both full and broken at the same time.

A special gender reveal for Papa Brian

Every day brings a new chance for hope. Now, my hope is that my daughter is filled with happiness; that she knows that she will always have my love and support. My hope is to hold my grandson in my arms as a free man. My hope is to not have to watch him grow up in the visiting room as his mother did. My hope is to be able to watch him play and grow and just be a happy little boy. We are all very happy and celebrating this new life. After all, with life there is hope.

My family is hopeful for a better tomorrow. After all, tomorrow will bring us One Day Closer…

 

Update: Civil Rights Lawsuit

Hi to everybody,

I wanted to give everyone a quick update on recent events regarding the civil rights lawsuit I filed against the Massachusetts Department of Correction (DOC).

As I’m sure you remember, last February (2016), prison officials here at MCI-Concord threatened me and then retaliated against me because I cooperated with the reporter from Boston Magazine, who was writing an article about my wrongful conviction. Prison officials were angry at me and decided they would punish me by removing me from the NEADS Service Dog Program. Over the course of the two years that I had been in the program, I had trained three dogs that were placed with disabled children. Well, after my punitive removal I filed a federal lawsuit against the DOC in U.S. District Court (Peixoto v. Lois Russo, et. al.)

Attorney Sonja Deyoe stepped forward and offered to represent me in the suit, pro bon. The DOC lawyer then filed a motion with the court to have my lawsuit dismissed. He argued that I do not have a Constitutional right to communicate with the media and that DOC officials did not threaten or retaliate against me for doing so and that I did not have a protected right in being in the program to begin with so I had no rights to protect in the suit. Subsequently, the court held a hearing where Sonja aggressively argued against the DOC lawyer on my behalf.

Amazingly, I am happy to announce that Sonja was successful. The court ruled in our favor and denied the DOC’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit. In the court’s decision the judge agreed with us and stated that a jury could find that “prison officials took adverse action” against me and had “the intent to retaliate,” when they removed me from the NEADS Program. Further, the judge stated that a jury could find that these prison officials acted with “intent” to threaten and intimidate me in order to discourage my communication with the media.

This is wonderful news. Sonja did an amazing job in fighting for me and my civil rights. This is an incredible David v. Goliath win. With Sonja’s help, we were able to stop omnipotent prison officials from abusing their power and from threatening and intimidating those weaker and in their care. We are hopeful that very soon the DOC will be forced to do the right thing and put me back in the NEADS Service Dog Program and to stop any further abuse against me simply for proclaiming my innocence and fighting to be freed from my wrongful imprisonment.

Thank you, Sonja.

February 2017

Hello to everyone. I hope you are well.

This morning when I woke, it was just another day in prison. I put on the news and plugged in my hot pot to heat water for coffee. A national news station was profiling two men who were wrongfully convicted and spent a combined 40 years in prison fighting to prove their innocence. Finally, after decades behind bars, they were freed and returned to their families.

Over the years I’ve seen many of these stories. I’ve seen them featured on Dateline and 20/20. Sometimes they were convicted because of corrupt police. Sometimes it was misidentification by witnesses. And of course, many were because of faulty science. In fact, nationwide there have been thousands of men and women exonerated after spending decades in prisons for crimes they did not commit.

As a wrongfully convicted man fighting to prove his innocence, I don’t know how to feel about this. I guess on one hand it should make me feel hopeful and grateful that so many people were freed after so long. It should make me feel optimistic and appreciative that these people were finally vindicated. But quite honestly, today, what I feel is anger.

It makes me angry that our criminal justice system failed these people. It makes me angry that our criminal justice system failed me. A system that allows so many people to be convicted on crimes they did not commit, and then forces them to fight against the very system to right the wrong is broken. Our criminal justice system is supposed to be based on protecting the innocent. How then do so many people get convicted of crimes they are innocent of? And then, our appeals system is designed to ensure that innocent people are not wrongly convicted. Why then does it take decades (if they are one of the lucky ones) for an innocent person to be exonerated? What makes me most angry is when after one of these people is finally freed, people say, “See, the system works.” Wrong! If the system worked, innocent people would not be yanked from their families and forced to spend a single day behind bars for a crime they did not commit. Our system is broken and it makes me angry.

Brian and baby Amber
Fearing Pond, Plymouth 1991

Some days more than others I feel the anger. As the investigation into my own conviction continues, we’re learning of just how badly the system failed me and my family. In fact, it was more than just a system that failed; it was the police detectives, prosecutors, attorneys, medical experts, and judges that failed us. Some of the failures were worse than others. Some of the failures were malicious and intentional. Others were mere incompetence. It makes me angry to think of all that has been taken from me; all that has been taken from my daughter. My family has lost so much, and it makes me angry.

Our criminal justice system needs to be fixed. Our legislators need to change laws. Conviction Integrity Units need to be created. Federal funding needs to be given to Innocence Programs. Prosecutors need to be held criminally liable for wrongdoing. The AEDPA needs to be repealed. Time limits and other hurdles for appeals need to be dismantled. And, the death penalty needs to be abolished. We need to demand real criminal justice reform in order to prevent these injustices.

These days while so many people are angry and protesting about election results, Executive Orders, and Cabinet nominees, my hope is that there is some anger left for our criminal justice system. A system that is destroying American families and citizens, right now, in prison for crimes they did not commit; children growing up with the pain and loss of a wrongly incarcerated parent; mothers, fathers, children and siblings suffering because they have a loved one in prison as an innocent person. Lives are being destroyed and time is lost forever-all as a result of a failed criminal justice system. It makes me angry.

I want to end by stating that not all anger is bad. Sometimes anger is good. When it is channeled into action, it can be righteous. When it is used as motivation, it can be powerful. When it is used to right a wrong, it can open prison doors.

One Day Closer…

 

 

January 2017

Greetings to everyone,

Thank you for all of your kind words of encouragement. Your love and support is heartwarming.

Truth is; this time of year is always difficult. It is the anniversary of young Christopher’s death. I often think about the affect his passing has had on so many lives.

I feel the need to extend my deepest sympathies to Christopher’s family – especially to his father and sister. I can’t imagine the terrible pain losing Christopher must have caused them. My family and I have always empathized with Christopher’s family and those who love and miss him. Even as we fight to uncover the truth about what happened to him and to prove my innocence, we continuously remind ourselves of the senseless loss of a young boy’s life. For this loss, we are truly sorry.

This is also the anniversary of my family’s loss. It was 21 years ago that I was arrested and wrongly accused of murdering Christopher. I’ve been incarcerated ever since. Christopher’s death and my conviction have been a terrible tragedy – a tragedy that has had devastating consequences for so many people. I ask that this time of the year everyone please keep in their thoughts and prayers both Christopher’s family and mine. These two families have suffered incredible loss and pain. Please pray that we all are able to find comfort and peace.

Brian

November 2016

This past Sunday was the anniversary Mass for my cousin John and my grandparents.

16 years ago today, my cousin John was suddenly taken from us. And ten years ago, this very same day, my grandmother and grandfather both passed, just hours apart.

Aunt Alda, Aunt Hilda and Amber at Aunt Hilda's house following the anniversary Mass for Vovo, Vuvu, Uncle Manny and Cousin John; November 2016

Aunt Alda, Aunt Hilda and Amber at Aunt Hilda’s house following the anniversary Mass for Vovo, Vuvu, Uncle Manny and Cousin John; November 2016

Every year around this time my family gathers in memorial to our loved ones. You might think that such a family gathering would be somber and maybe even sad, but not with my family. Rather it has become a celebration. There is food, family and plenty of laughter. And most of all there is love. My grandmother would love it.

I was not able to be with my family when my loved ones passed. Nor was I able to be with them on Sunday. But in my place standing by father were my daughter, Amber and my love, Lisa. As they told me about the gathering I smiled because through them I was there. My smile lasted long into the night. For that I am grateful.

I remember when Lisa first asked me about my family. I shared with her an article written just after my grandparents passed. After reading it, Lisa smiled and said, “That explains everything.”

I want to share that article here in their memory; In memory of my cousin John who I love and miss; In memory of my grandparents, who always made me feel loved.

This is my family.

 

Dancer’s graduation

Hello to everyone,

I know when it has been a while since last I posted when Lisa starts reminding me it’s time to get writing. The truth is it’s difficult for me to write a post. I often feel like I am writing the same things over and over again. I also don’t want to come across as depressing or complaining. In reality, my days are very mundane and often filled with quiet sadness. There are, however, small glimmers of light in my dark days. Getting to call Lisa is a highlight of my day. Also, getting visits from my family and friends. And probably the biggest highlight has always been working with the dogs.

I don’t mean to sound depressing or ungrateful for the wonderful things happening in my case. All of the advances in my case are remarkable. And all of the positive attention is incredible. It’s just that I’m tired. Twenty years is a long time. Twenty years is a VERY long time. It can be hard to stay positive. I have to constantly remind myself of the wonderful family and friends I have that love and support me. Or the amazing legal team I have working diligently to bring me home. And all of the incredible support we received after the article came out in Boston Magazine. I have so much more than so many others. I have hope. I hope for a future. I am grateful. I really am. It can just be very hard to fight off the negative influences and the darkness that fills my every day of being in prison for a crime I did not commit. It’s hard.

Brian and Dancer during the dog days of summer 2015

Brian and Dancer during the dog days of summer 2015

I am also struggling right now with the loss of my dog. Yes, Dancer has finally graduated. It is bitter sweet. I’ve known all along that the goal was to train her for a disabled person and that she would ultimately leave to change someone’s life. Well, on February 10th it happened. After raising and training her for 15 months, Dancer left to go to her forever home. Dancer was matched with a 15 year-old autistic girl. Dancer will work with the girl as a social dog to give her confidence in social situations. I am very proud of her. I was extremely fortunate to meet the mother of the disabled girl who received Dancer. At a meet-and-greet at the prison, the child’s mother came in to meet the man who trained the dog for her daughter. I was extremely honored. It was very emotional. She brought Dancer in with her and I got to see her. I have to admit; I lost control of my emotions and made a fool of myself. I took a picture with Dancer and the poor thing was freaked out at how emotional I was. Still, all and all it was an amazing experience and I was grateful for the opportunity to meet Dancer’s new mommy and to see her again. I know that Dancer will bring happiness and joy to that family’s lives and that I had a small part to play in it. I am honored, but I will miss her.

Dancer's graduation to the red vest-full service dog status March 1, 2016

Dancer’s graduation to the red vest-full service dog status:  March 1, 2016

As always I want to thank everyone for their love and support. Lisa reads your comments to me every day. Thank you for your kind encouragement and kind words. I smile as I hear them and I love and appreciate every word.

We continue to struggle in our fight. We sometimes stumble and merely survive one more day. But one thing is for sure, every day brings us one day closer…

Brian

Happy New Year 2016

January 2016: Happy New Year!!!

We want to wish everyone a happy and safe new year.

It’s been a long year and we are all very hopeful for 2016. This time of the year is a time for reflection and contemplation. We look at the year that has past, and we look forward to what the new year will bring. For us, it’s been an amazing year. So much has happened, things that I could never have imagined. The love and support me and my family have received is amazing. I can’t even put into words what all of your support has meant to me and my family. Saying thank you doesn’t seem to be enough.

And our dreams of new hope were granted this year – Jen Fitzgerald, my attorney who has dedicated her every waking moment to fighting for me, sacrificing so much; John Nardizzi, the private investigator who joined the team , working to uncover the truth; CPCS Innocence Program Staff Attorney, Ira Gant, also joined our team; all of the medical experts who volunteered to look at the medical evidence in my case and could not help but volunteer to right a wrong; and the new evidence that has been uncovered proving I’ve always told the truth. It’s been an epic year.

We also believe in our hearts that this new year will be the year of truth and freedom. We are hopeful that 2016 will be our year.

With that said, there are some things we would like to update everyone on. What has been going on?

Jen at work; inspiration at eye level-photos of Brian at trial and today, 20 years in the making.

Jen at work; inspiration at eye level-photos of Brian at trial and today, 20 years in the making.

My attorney, Jen, has been working non-stop. And John, the PI, has been digging, making some amazing discoveries. Jen is preparing a Motion for New Trial based on all that has been uncovered. Jen has been the very first attorney to actually investigate the truth by reading every document, police report, transcript, and brief in my case. She dug where no one else put any effort to dig. Moreover, she was the first attorney to ever believe me when I said, “I’m innocent.”

Thus, what Jen has exposed is nothing short of incredible. My next blog later this month will go into more detail on the new evidence. We will be filing with the court early this year.

Also, something to look forward to this year is an article in Boston Magazine. Yes, that’s right; a prominent, local magazine has searched us out wanting to tell our story. We reached out to various media outlets in 2014 and heard from (now) Senior Editor, Chris Vogel who actually contacted us independently, after conducting research on the topic of SBS and finding his way to our website. Our request and his inquiry passed in the mail. Everything happens for a reason. For the past few months we have been working with award winning investigative reporter Gus Garcia-Roberts who is writing the feature article about my case. Mr. Roberts told us that he wants to tell the story of an innocent man who has been imprisoned for nearly 20 years and how the criminal justice system failed him and his family. Mr. Roberts has already investigated the case, interviewed my family, my attorney and many of the medical experts and witnesses. He also received permission from the Department of Corrections and came to the prison and interviewed me. He has conducted his own investigation into my case, so we are all very excited and curious about his article. It will be published in the February issue and available online and on newsstands by the third week of January, 2016. INCREDIBLE!

To all of you, we hope that in 2016 all of your dreams come true. Lisa often reminds me that dreams are wishes your heart makes. We will dream too. We will dream of new hope, new opportunities, that doors will be opened, and I will finally be home with my family. Have faith, hope and love. I know everything will be ok.

Remember, every day brings us…One Day Closer.

Brian

 

June 2015

Hey Everybody,

A quick hello to update everyone…

First, I want to point out that June has always been a very notable month for birthdays in my family. This month we celebrate some special women who are very important to me because of how each of them touch my life each and every day.

The first birthday we celebrate in my mother’s, Joyce. My mom has always been my biggest cheerleader. Her unconditional love has always given me a safe place to land. No matter how old I get, she still looks at me as her little boy. My mother has never wavered in her belief in me and every day provides me with an example of unquestionable and unrelenting faith. I love you mom.

Amber Peixoto

Baby Amber

 

Next is my beautiful daughter, Amber. My jewel. My heart. My baby. I still remember the day she was born as if it were yesterday. I was hers from the moment she first looked up at me and smiled. I fell in love. I forever will be the very first man to fall victim to her charm. No matter what, I will always love you Amber.

 

Then is Lisa’s mom, Jeanette. She was taken from her family far too soon, but she still is loved and forever will be missed. Though I never had the privilege to meet her, I like to believe that she would approve of me for her daughter. I believe in my heart that when I see her daughter’s sincerity and sensitivity, love and understanding, her giving and hopeful spirit, I am seeing the qualities given to her from her mother. I know she would be proud of you Lisa. I believe she gave you to me long ago, and you have been looking for me ever since.

And then there is my aunt Janice. She is also my Godmother and has always been there for me when I needed a little extra love. As my mother’s sister, she always cared for me as if I were her own. I will always love and appreciate you for that.

Happy birthday to all of you. You are all very special to me and continue to touch my life in innumerable and profound ways. I love you all.

Brian, Mom and Dancer, May 2015

Brian, mom and Dancer, May 2015

An update about Dancer, the wonderful yellow lab I have been training for the NEADS service dog program. Dancer has had her twelve month evaluation at the NEADS facility, and I am happy to announce that she has been chosen to become a Therapy Dog. As such, she will be matched with a permanent handler who works as a physical and occupational therapist. Dancer will be her handler’s therapeutic partner working with children with physical and psychological disabilities. One of the ways that Dancer will work with her handler is by assisting children with social disorders by motivating them to interact socially as part of their therapy. In addition, often, without a child’s knowledge, a therapy dog can encourage a physically disabled child to use their hands, arms and legs, enhancing their flexibility and dexterity by playing tug and catch, as well as walking and brushing the dog. Now that Dancer has been evaluated, I can customize her training, preparing her for life as a Therapy Dog. We are hoping to have her placed with a client by the end of the summer.

Last month I told you a little about Jennifer Fitzgerald, an attorney from Rhode Island who contacted us offering her help. As I stated previously, Jen has joined our team and has been working nonstop on my case. Jen has done something that no other attorney has ever done: she has reviewed every single document, police report, transcript and brief ever filed in this case. Her meticulous review of every document related to the case has led to further actual investigation which has revealed a whole host of new issues which made the entire trial fundamentally unfair right from the start. What Jen has uncovered is nothing short of remarkable. We call her Supergirl!  Please stay tuned…I am told that there will be updates made to our website soon.

Finally, I want to wish my dad a Happy Father’s Day. My father is a man that I have grown to respect as a good, honest man who influences my decision making every day. He inspires me to be the best I can and to remember the importance of family. Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

I want to thank everyone for their continued messages of support. They really do keep me positive and hopeful for the future. Remember to be thankful for what you have and never miss an opportunity to tell those who are important to you that you love them. Now, more than ever, I believe we are One Day Closer…

February 2015

February 2015

Hello to everybody,

I must begin by thanking everyone for their amazing support and all of the wonderful comments on the website and the new Facebook page. When Sarah, from Injustice Anywhere asked if they could create a Facebook page for me I was hesitant. I have never seen a Facebook page and, admittedly, don’t fully understand how it all works. But for that matter, I’ve never seen a website, laptop or smartphone either. However, since the Facebook page was created I’ve been told of the many people who have left the most extraordinarily supportive messages. I have also been told of the messages from some special people from my past who I thought had forgotten about me. Every night, on the phone, Lisa reads me your personal messages and conversations; with tears in our eyes we talk about your beautiful words of support and encouragement. Your comments warm our hearts and bring us strength and hope. Personally, from us to you, thank you.

I want to take a moment to send a special hello to some old friends, Randy, John, Tina, Jimmy, Heather, Patricia, Steve, Manny & Becky, Christine, Melissa, Richard, Laurie and Mitch. I love you all. It’s been wonderful to hear from you. I have been told of your support and kind words. It touches me deeply. As I was read some of the old stories you shared on Facebook and the website I smiled warmly. It brought me back to happier times. Thank you. I miss you all.

I also want to tell everyone about a very special event I had the privilege to attend. We had two more dogs at the prison graduate the NEADS dog training program and be placed with clients. Honey, a yellow lab, and Eddie, a black lab, were placed with veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The two veterans came into the prison to meet the men who trained their dogs. In a “meet and greet” event, attended by all the men in the dog program, Correctional Officers and other staff, and the Superintendent, these men came to thank US for OUR service. Amazing! Meeting these men, both Army veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was awe inspiring. They spoke about their multiple tours in the Middle East and the disabilities they returned home with. Both soldiers explained how their new service dogs will give them more freedom and mobility in their daily lives. Moreover, the companionship and confidence their dogs give them, they explained, is immeasurable. One of the veterans, with tears in his eyes, told us about his combat experience and how it often leaves him debilitated. He explained to us that his new service dog, Honey, already senses his trepidation and moves in to bring him comfort. The other veteran explained that he wakes in the middle of the night with night terrors, but Eddie jumps on his bed and reassures him that the perimeter is secure.

I consider myself privileged to have met these men and I am honored to have played a small part in providing them with a new service dog and lifelong companion.

Brian and Dancer January 2015

Brian and Dancer January 2015

Dancer’s training is going well. She is now nine months old and progressing steadily. Dancer now knows all of the obedience and task commands and we are now working on proofing these commands in different areas and with distractions. I continue to be proud of her and will update you on her progress.

To my family, my daughter, and Lisa, I love you all and miss you very much. Thank you once again to everyone on the team fighting to bring me home. I never lose hope and faith because of all of you. Every day brings us one day closer…

Brian