Warrior Transition Unit-Europe and U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwoehr go to the dogs
April 12, 2011
VILSECK, Germany -- Two dozen dogs of all shapes, breeds and sizes showed up for the April 1 opening of Rose Barracks' new dog park, located right across from the Little Mike recreation area.
The fenced-in dog park provides a friendly environment where dog owners can let their canine friends romp off-leash and socialize with their fellow quadrupeds.
Yasmine Livingston said the new dog park is "an awesome idea" and will look forward to the Grafenwoehr dog park opening since she lives in the Eschenbach area with Midnight, a Wiener and Cocker Spaniel mix.
Priscilla Nunez said the park is "good for the dogs" and having one open at Main Post will give her and Fabio, her Shitzu, the best of both worlds since she lives in Netzaberg.
Both Livingston and Nunez plan to use both parks once the Main Post dog park opens.
The Main Post Dog Park is currently under construction and targeted for a grand opening on or about mid-May.
The concept for dog parks started with an ICE comment in August 2010 and was subsequently made into a community initiative following a community huddle hosted by Brig. Gen. Steven Salazar, commanding general, Joint Multinational Training Command, and Col. Vann Smiley, USAG Grafenwoehr commander. A Pet Working Group (PWG) was soon established, headed up by Tony Frazier, USAG Grafenwoehr business manager.
"The Garrison Pet Working Group," said Frazier, "is a group of community members who volunteer their time to improve, promote, communicate and campaign for our local pet community. They also advocate responsible pet ownership while fostering a friendly and safe environment for pet owners.
"It is through their selfless efforts and the passionate guidance provided by Mrs. Martina Salazar that we are able to realize these important quality of life improvements for our community.
"Additional improvements planned for the Rose Barracks and Main Post dog parks include benches, separate areas for small and large dogs, spring-loaded access and more," said Frazier.
WTU and HHC Soldiers support local tierheims.
After the dog park opening, April 1, PWG members and Soldiers of Delta Company, Warrior Transition Unit-Europe (WTU-E) traveled to the Amberg Tierheim (animal shelter) where they presented Theo Schmausser, chairperson of the Amberg Animal Association, with 250 pounds of dog food, bedding and other creature comforts.
Donations for the Amberg Tierheim are made at the Rose Barracks commissary, while donations for the Weiden Tierheim are made at the Main Post Exchange. Through the generosity of Grafenwoehr Military Community members, D Co. Soldiers bring the donations to the Amberg Tierheim on a regular basis. Since December 2010, D Co. has up to nine Soldiers traveling to the tierheim the third Friday of ear month to walk the dogs and spend quality time with their four-legged friends.
"Helping others fosters a meaningful, healthier lifestyle for our Soldiers. It shows that while we are injured, we can still contribute to the overall mission of the Army through active community service," said Sgt. Mattice, the D Co. WTU-E squad leader.
"This exemplifies how a few Soldiers from our company can make a significant and positive contribution to the Graf military community by building new friendships and relationships with our host nation neighbors, thus improving their perception of us," said Capt. Ryan Putnam, D Co. WTU-E commander.
And later that same day, Soldiers of the HHC USAG Grafenwoehr, under the leadership of 1st Sgt. Fernando Marquez, collected and delivered donations from the Grafenwoehr Military Community for the Weiden Tierheim.
"HHC partners with the Weiden Tierheim to support their efforts in caring for abandoned pets, many which unfortunately come from our community," said Marquez. "Together, with the great donations from the Graf community, we are showing we can make a difference and further enhance our relationships between our host nation tierheims and our Grafenworhr Military Community."
Since December 2010, donations for the Weiden animal shelter delivered by the HHC have totaled nearly $8,000 in pet food and assorted pet supplies.