Veteran recalls Military service and his love for dogs

Veteran recalls Military service and his love for dogs
On this Veterans Day, a Worth County man remembers his time in the Marine Corps working with Military Dogs during the Vietnam War.
His love for dogs continues.

Jim McCleary served over 30 years in the Marine Corps and says his dog Lance saved his life and many other Marines overseas.

Campbell is one of three collies Jim McCleary owns.  In fact his dogs are more like his children.

"Everyone of them is about a nine year old," says Veteran Jim McCleary

Even though the three collies look very similar they all have different personalities.

Collin is the young male, who loves a lot of attention.

"He's typical of a young male, everything rotates around him," says McCleary

Shannon is his girl who loves to play.

"She is just a doll, her personality is that of a little child that loves to play, and she finds things and gets in trouble with them," he says.

McCleary has always loved dogs, and they've saved his life. Lance was his back up and protector while serving in Vietnam.

"He was with me what they call 24/7. He slept with me, when I went to eat chow he was with me," he says.

And McCleary says there's no doubt he saved lives.

"He saved a lot of lives. Not just mine, but a lot of Marine's lives," he says.

And while he trains them, he also gives them plenty of chances to play.


He says his favorite thing about dogs is their loyalty.

"It doesn't matter what your feeling, whether your up, down, mad, they will come to you in distress, and they just calm you constantly," says McCleary.

And on this Veterans Day McCleary says he reflects not only remembering his time in the service, but his friends, and his father who served in the military.

"He was one of the last enlisted pilots that the navy had," she says.

Now he also works with a group called paws patrol, and helps train dogs to visit hospitals, libraries, and nursing homes. You can find out more about their organization when you click HERE.

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