Ohio mom raising money for dogs in Iraq
Stars and Stripes June 16, 2007
What do you get the son who has everything he needs?
That’s the question Starline Nunley faced while looking for a birthday present for her son, Maj. Parker Frawley. Her solution made it a special day for the military working dogs around Frawley’s Mosul, Iraq, duty station.
Nunley originally thought of buying her son, the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment’s planning officer, a cooling vest. They come with packs that start to cool after being dunked in water or placed in a refrigerator for a short time.
"At home, if I put one in the shade in 85-degree weather it starts to turn white and you can feel it cooling,"" Nunley, of Springfield, Ohio, said in an e-mail.
But Frawley thought changing the cooling packs would be too much trouble with all the gear he has to carry, and he thought the Army had already taken care of his other equipment needs. So his mother —– the proud owner of three Australian shepherds —– decided to help her son by providing for the dogs who work with the soldiers.
"Most donations go to the soldiers. But who is finding the trip wires, the bomb-making materials, or the bombs; does the search and rescue; searches the vehicles while getting their paws burned on the hot asphalt; or cut up in the debris?"" Nunley asked. "Remember, they are working under the same extreme conditions as the soldiers are but without boots, hats, gloves, and they are wearing a fur coat all the time.""
She and the Gem City Dog Obedience Club of Dayton, Ohio, of which she’is a member, had raffles, spoke to various groups and visited other dog clubs to raise the money.
They soon had enough to outfit the 15 military working dogs at a kennel near Mosul with a cool vest, extra cool packs, a collapsible water bowl, a large toy, MuttLuks (booties to protect the dogs’ feet) and "dog goggles.
They outfitted 17 more dogs at a Baghdad kennel plus four dogs at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base that will soon be leaving for Iraq. They also sent over food containers to keep Iraqi rats out of the dog food.
"One thing that has become apparent is that no matter how we feel about the war, either positive or negative, we all support our soldiers, both two- and four-legged,"" Nunley said.
But the money kept coming in. So far the club has raised about $15,000, every bit of which has been used to help the dogs. Donations go to $300 kits that include $129 for a vest, $99 for a spare cooling pack, $22 for "doggles," and $52 for "Muttluk" boots.
Nunely says she has applied for charity status and was told there should be no problem getting it.
"(The project) has really taken off to a greater extent than I think she imagined,"" Frawley said.
Iraq has 45 military working dog kennels, though, and Nunley wants to keep going until all 300-plus dogs have what they need.
"They save our soldier’s lives every day,"" she said. "They deserve all they need to do the best job possible. Why should we expect them to do the best job possible without being properly equipped?"
Where to donateDonations can be made to Support Military Working Dogs:
At any U.S. Bank location
By mail at:
Support Military Working DogsP.O.Box 122Donnelsville, OH 45319