Military veteran: My service dog 'saved my life, and I think I’ve done the same for her'

A veteran adjusting to civilian life got a loveable service dog to help her through "ruff" times.


After more than three years of serving abroad, veteran Mac McQueary returned to the U.S.


But she had trouble acclimating to everyday life.

"I didn’t know how to survive in the civilian world, and the difficulties that I faced, I basically ran from," McQueary said. "The before was lonely and sometimes dark. And now there’s a light."

Then, she was told about K9s for Warriors, which pairs service members with service dogs. And it doesn’t cost the veterans a single cent. McQueary was introduced to Mary, whose interests include eating cheese, visiting the beach and playing fetch.

'One of the things they do is they go around to the kill shelters. They rescue the dog, so they can rescue the veteran," McQueary said. "So it’s saving two lives in one. And she saved my life, and I think I've done the same for her."

But while sporting her service vest, Mary means business.

"When you’re in the military, you always had a battle buddy. And when you got out, you didn’t have no battle buddy," McQueary said. "And she’s my battle buddy now, and it’s comforting to know that no matter what, she’s always there and I'm always there for her."

For McQueary, having Mary by her side meant having someone to lean on.

And she hoped other service members going through hard times would consider adopting their own “battle buddy.”

"That’s what I did in the military is... I helped. I got the mission done," McQueary said. "And now to come home and say I'm the one who needs help... But it’s the first step and it's the journey. And we can make it through that journey together."

Stitch brings you heartwarming stories from a community just like yours. It celebrates our hometown heroes and is inspired by communities, revitalized. Stitch is committed to honoring our history, celebrating our potential and highlighting the tales that bring us together. Every day, we are stitching together the American story.

Want more stories like these? Follow Stitch on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.