Paul was born and raised in Chicago and didn't serve in the military; however his father did proudly serve with the U.S. Marine Corps. in WW2. Like many his dad never talked about war, only of the brotherhood and the friendships made, some lasting his whole life. Paul started as a teen working with his dad doing water and sewer repair. Paul then took a job at the Chicago Water Department, where he put in 30 years and retired. Paul is a member in good standing with Local #126 International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, and served as Trustee. Over the years Paul was active in Knights of Columbus, Loyal Order of the Moose, and other organizations. Paul has also volunteered for a retirees club in Lyons and later was appointed Village Trustee and has been re-elected twice. Paul currently serves as Chairman of the Finance Committee. Paul and his wife Sonia, have four children, and six grandchildren. Paul has always been dedicated to helping the veterans of this great Nation as well as our K9 companions. He feels it's his time to serve those that served us proudly giving their all, asking nothing in return.
Sonia was born and raised on the southwest side of Chicago, Il. From a young age, she began helping where her support was needed, such as at her fathers bakery. Later in life, after becoming a mother, Sonia moved to Inverness, Florida where she worked as an advocate for C.A.S.A (Citrus Abuse Shelter Association), an organization that helped abused women and children.
After returning to Chicago- In order to be closer to her family- Sonia wanted to follow in her fathers footsteps of becoming a Stationary Engineer. She studied at Triton College, making it to the Presidents Honors List all five semesters. Sonia graduated and soon became a stationary engineer,working in the field for over sixteen years. Sadly, a work injury cut short her carrier as an engineer. Sonia had to undergo four surgeries coupled with two tears of rehabilitation. Her life changed forever.
Having support from family and friends in this period was critical. During this time, she developed a special bond with her dog Thor. He was very tuned in to how she was feeling, especially on days that were particularly difficult. Faithfully, Thor and Sonia never left each other's side, which pushed her to get through physical therapy. She is also someone who ha supported veterans of armed forces. Her cousin, Adrian Garibay, whom she is very close to, served in the Vietnam War. Sonia's uncle Gilbert Campos also served in the military, although he was never deployed. Sonia had an epiphany. She realized she could rescue dogs and train them to become service dogs for our nations veterans struggling with trauma.This could really help in a big way! The best of both worlds. She enrolled at Animal Behavior College where she received her certification in dog training, CPR and first aid. She is continuing her education in dog training through courses taught by Michael Ellis/ Leerburg University. Sonia and her husband Paul have four children an six grandchildren. She remains a member in good standing with the International Union Of Stationary Engineers Local 399.
Hello, my name is Retired US Army SSG, Brett Mango. I am 42 years old and a resident of the Chicago metro area. I have over twenty years of experience in military and law enforcement. I have been apart or attached to Infantry, EOD, SWAT, or just patrol over my years of service. During that time, I have served during Hurricane Katrina; deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, and South America. I have earned citation's both civilian and military to include Bronze Star, Army Commendation, Army Achievement, Combat Infantry Badge, Explosive Ordinance Badge, to several police citation for Valor and Achievement.
I am a co-founder/Executive Director of V.E.T., and I am proud to say we are a transparent organization willing to make a difference in the veteran community. Please explore what we have to offer and make the decision for yourself if we are a good fit for you.
1SG Thor brings to our organization his vast knowledge of K9 obedience and proper K9 etiquette. 1SG Thor assists in showing our K9 recruits what will be expected of them in their training