Veterans Day

The Tower of Hope Marks Veterans Day with a Special Event in Greenwich

On Veterans Day, November 11, 2008 a large crowd of supporters of veterans (and dog lovers, too!) gathered at the home of Leora and Steven Levy in Greenwich, CT to have cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, to meet a returned veteran, Tony Larson and his service dog, Tomme, and to learn more about The Tower of Hope. Tony and Tomme were the stars, of course. They flew in that morning with friends from America's Vet Dogs, a service dog training facility in Minneapolis.

Veteran's Day

Tony was eager for the opportunity to talk about how much his life has changed, first from his wartime injury and more recently from having Tomme at his side. Tony and Tomme became a tight-knit team after Tony was seriously wounded by an IED in Iraq. He lost his right leg below the knee and suffers from mild post-traumatic stress disorder. Tony needs Tomme for balance and to help retrieve items he drops or misplaces.

Tony says that the support Tomme gives him is much more than physical. "Tomme knows when I'm having a bad day," he says about his new partner. Occasionally, Tony has flashbacks from combat. Tomme senses that something is not right and will come over and put his head in Tony's lap until Tony feels better. Tony says the dog knows how to bring him back to his real world, so he doesn't get depressed.

Veteran's Day

Meeting Tony and Tomme was a great hit for all the attendees. Tomme, of course, was working, so he didn't have the chance to mingle as much as the others. Cathy Carilli, President and Founder of The Tower of Hope, was introduced by Leora Levy, and gave a short description of the work the organization does to provide the funds for service dogs to veterans who need them. "We help to give these courageous men and women their independence and self-assuredness by providing these wonderful companions," Cathy said. She and several Board members were in attendance to greet the participants and to tell the story of The Tower of Hope.

Many of the attendees donated generously to TTOH, and the Levy's graciously provided their beautiful home, all of the food and drink, and a compelling evening for all.