What’s a Spanky?

We got these great t-shirts from Danny Batten at Surf, Wind, and Fire in New Bern, NC and they are causing a commotion, but that’s a good thing. People are reading it: “Operation Keep Your Spanky” and asking, “What’s a Spanky?”

Well, to me Spanky is a lifesaver. See, I got my dog Spanky in 2003 after returning from Iraq with various injuries and the knowledge that I could no longer be a Marine. The physical and emotional hits were hard, and I got Spanky from a shelter, just to keep me company. I had no idea what a huge role he would play in helping me regain my physical and mental health.

So now I am on a mission to help other vets keep their pets.  On April 26 I will set out with Spanky from Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC with just $50 in my pocket and head to Camp Pendleton, CA.  I will walk, hitchhike and depend on the kindness of strangers and friends to make this trip happen. And once we get to Pendleton, we will turn around and head back to Lejeune. It’s a little crazy, but those of you who know me, know that I believe that calculated risks are worth it.

I know we could have booked a flight or rented a car and drove the route, but I really wanted to get into the little towns and talk to people, especially vets and let them know we’ve got a plan. I hope and expect this journey will get some attention for vets and their needed pets and raise $100,000 to support Operation Keep Your Spanky (OKYS).  The end result will be an organization that will provide food and basic medical care for the pets of vets who might otherwise not be able to afford to keep their Spanky.

We want to keep vets with their pets. You can help by donating to Operation Keep Your Spanky, and you can keep track of our journey on Facebook, too.

Now you know what a Spanky is… he’s a lifesaver.