PHOTO: Service Dog “Bailey”
Holmdel, NJ – Thanks to the generous support of Bill and Debbie Rustico and Oma Hodges from Highlands, NJ, the Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial Fund was instrumental in providing a specially trained service dog named Bailey to wounded warrior Jose to help him move forward with his life after suffering a traumatic brain injury.
Bailey was trained at K9s for Warriors for 6 months and spent 3 weeks at the school living with his new partner Jose. They took their last test prior to graduation, and Bailey was officially certified under the American Disabilities Act.
“This donation is possible thanks to the generous support we received from Bill and Debbie Rustico and Oma Hodges,” said Marion Zilinski, co-founder of the Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial Fund.
“We wish Bailey and Jose success, health and much happiness together,” said Marion. “The continued support of our supporters is critical. Our next big fundraising event is 10th Anniversary Gala titled: A Toast to Dennis – A Night of Remembrance be held Friday, September 11 at the Eagle Oaks Country Club in Farmingdale, NJ at 7:00 PM.
The Gala will celebrate the life and memory of Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, as well as honoring those from Monmouth County who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks. A donation of $150 per person is required for an invitation to the event, which will feature a cocktail hour, sit-down dinner, dancing with music by Mission Dance, and much more.
The event will also feature a reverse auction to assist the Fund in sponsoring service dogs for warriors suffering from PTSD and/or traumatic brain injuries.
The Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski Memorial Fund provides care and support for those serving our country and their families. The SGT. DENNY PROJECT has donated 17 service dogs to date, costing approximately $15,000 per dog.
The program is named for SGT. Denny, a two year old German shepherd who was stationed in Afghanistan with his handler.
For those returning home from combat, the transition back into society can be overwhelming. The hyper-vigilance and hyper-reactivity to situations, sensations, sounds and smells that kept them alive in the war zone often continues despite the peace of civilian life. Service dogs are trained to help wounded warriors with many of the fight or flight reactions and health issues they face upon returning home from combat. Funds raised from this event will go toward purchasing dogs from K9s for Warriors. All of these service dogs are ADA approved and certified.
Additional donations may be sent to: Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski Memorial Fund, PO Box 35, Holmdel, NJ 07733.