Target: Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley
Goal: Expedite Logan Black’s adoption of his bomb-sniffing dog Diego.
Thirty-four-year-old Logan Black trained with a yellow Labrador named Diego since the dog was a year old. The pair were sent to Iraq and when Black left the Army in May of 2007, he left Diego behind. However, when he found out that Diego had been decommissioned as a bomb-sniffing dog and was being used to train handlers at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, Black campaigned to adopt his former partner.
Both man and dog suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, though Diego has never been formally diagnosed. Since leaving Iraq, Black has begun dreaming about Diego, and has started experiencing hyper-sensitivity to smells and sights that remind him of Iraq. Diego was badly affected after an IED struck the back of a vehicle he and Black were riding in during an attack in April 2006 but with Black’s help, was working through it. Now Black wants to adopt Diego, who is nearing his retirement at the age of 8, and train him as a service dog for post-traumatic stress disorder.
Since discovering that he can adopt Diego, Black has been campaigning to expedite the process. However, officials say that while Diego is close to retirement, he still continues to perform a vital role, and there is no set date in sight for his official retirement. Even worse, most handlers who leave their dogs to continue their tour of duty aren’t aware that they have priority in adopting a retiring dog if it is not first assigned to a civilian law enforcement agency.
By signing the petition below, you are not only asking the Air Force to ensure former handlers know they can adopt their retiring dogs, you are asking them to set a date for Diego’s retirement, expedite Black’s adoption, and give both of these soldiers who have dutifully served their country a chance at reuniting.
Dear Secretary Michael B. Donley,
Both former Sergeant Logan Black and bomb-sniffing dog Diego have dutifully served their country. Now both are suffering from a form of PTSD, and while Diego continues to serve by training new handlers at Lackland Air Force Base, he and Black deserve to be reunited. Now that Diego is nearing his retirement age, it’s time to make a plan to reunite him with Black.
Black has been diagnosed with PTSD, and would like to train Diego to be a PTSD service dog. He frequently dreams about Diego, and is triggered by smells and sounds that remind him of Iraq. Dogs have been proven to aid PTSD sufferers, and what better dog to use than Black’s old partner from Iraq?
While Diego is performing a great service to the Air Force, I am asking you to set a date for his retirement and eventual reunion with Black. Furthermore, I ask you to publicize to former dog handlers that they are able to adopt their retiring dogs. Both the dogs and the soldiers have seen and done so much in service to their country, and the best way to thank them is to allow them to live out their lives as civilians—together.
[Your Name Here]