Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) provided a service dog to Vietnamese-American United States Army Captain James Van Thach, who was severely wounded in Iraq and was awarded the Purple Heart Medal for his wounds.
“As we honor the contributions of Asian-Pacific American Heritage month in the United States, a story that should be shared is of an Asian-American who has sacrificed so much for our country, Vietnamese-American United States Army Captain James Van Thach. Captain Thach walked away from a career as an aspiring lawyer when he graduated from Touro Law Center in 2002, after the terrorist attack on our country on September 11, 2001. He deferred a career as an attorney in the military and requested to join the Infantry, which are land based soldiers specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face. Historically, the Infantry has borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars to defend America,” says Tommy Nero Sullivan of V.I.P. Promotions. “After serving two arduous years in combat in Iraq, where the government of Iraq presented him the honorary rank of Staff Brigadier General and being twice wounded and earning the Purple Heart, Captain Thach now has a life filled with numerous medical appointments every month in the hope that he can have a manageable life, despite his injuries.”
“I knew that I needed to do all that I can to help defend our country against terrorism before they can attempt to attack our country again”, said Captain Thach.
“I learned from my Vietnamese heritage, for example as in South Vietnam, an enemy such as communist North Vietnam will violate the law and use terrorism to complete their goals to destroy a democratic nation.”
“My relatives suffered and had to leave South Vietnam and immigrated to various counties such as the United States, Australia, Denmark and Holland. Our new adopted country of the United States had to be protected at all costs and there was not an alternative to change countries, because terrorism just like communism will follow anywhere to eradicate the democracy that we hold dear to our hearts”, said Captain Thach.
Additionally Captain Thach said, “I am very fortunate that Canine Companions for Independence special program “Wounded Veterans Initiative” worked with my medical care team and matched me with my service dog Liz so that I can attain a greater control of the personal aspects of my daily activities.”
Founded in 1975, Canine Companions for Independence is the largest nonprofit provider of assistance dogs, and is recognized worldwide for the excellence of its dogs, and the quality and longevity of the matches it makes between dogs and people, and provides highly trained assistance dogs for children, adults and veterans with disabilities. Each service dog costs up to $55,000 to raise and train and are given to the disabled recipients free of charge.