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    Bear finds a new home

    Puppies find a new home

    Photo By 1st Sgt. Sandra Lucas | During Resolute Castle 2016 Soldiers were briefed on the wildlife in the area and...... read more read more

    Spc. Melissa Hernandez with the 375th Engineer Company (Vertical) from Huntsville, Ala. has traveled to three countries during her four year career with the Alabama Army National Guard. Today, she is in Romania supporting Resolute Castle 2016, Hernandez lives in Knoxville, Tenn. Friends describe her as tenacious and determined when she sets a goal. During her annual training in Cincu, Romania her goal was to give a puppy she named ‘Bear’ a new home.

    Although her peers and family thought she was joking, Spc. Hernandez was determined to adopt the puppy found at the Cincu Training Center, Cincu Romania.

    The Cincu Training Center is a haven for dogs. With plenty of room to run and plenty of Soldiers to feed them. Some dogs enjoy a diet of pizza and pastries and other prefer beef jerky and left over Soldier chow.

    Hernandez saw the puppies the first week she was at Cincu Training Center, but one puppy was special.

    “The fluffy one, that’s Bear,” said Hernandez.

    Soldiers talked about how nice it would be to take a puppy or a dog back to the United States and give it a home, but it was Hernandez who took action.

    “I went to my sergeant and asked if there was a way to take a dog home. He suggested that I speak with chaplain, Cpt. Timothy S. Saccucci, 877th Forward Support Company, 877th Engineer Battalion. He referred me to Sgt. Leland C. Lyerla,” said Hernandez.

    Sgt. Lyerla 155th Signal Company, Memphis, Tenn. arrived in April for operation Resolute Castle. Seven rotations pass through Cincu Training Center from April to Sept. 2016. Early rotations inquired about the dogs, so Lyeria researched the issue and was ready to assist when Spc. Hernandez made her inquiry. Lyerla sent an email to founder Anna Maria Chanson, of Puppy Rescue Mission a non-profit organization that helps Soldiers unite with their four leg partners.

    After an email exchange it was time to pick up the puppies and prepare them for their new homes in the U.S.

    “Andrea and I spoke over the phone recently for the first time. She is here [Cincu Training Center] to pick-up the dogs and take them to Bucharest,” said Hernandez.

    Andrea is a volunteer with the Puppy Rescue Mission, on this day she is assisted by her father.

    “This is her hobby, not her job,” said Andrea’s father.

    Rescuing dogs is a passion for Andrea who works for Oracle Romania, Integrated Cloud Applications.

    “We will take the dogs to Bucharest where they will see a veterinarian, be checked for heart worms and receive shots,” said Andrea.

    The efforts of both Andrea and Spc. Hernandez were met by naysayers.

    “Some say Andrea is crazy for doing this, but I am glad I met her and she is helping,” said Hernandez.

    Spc. Hernandez was told by her peers that she would not be successful, her family at home thought she was kidding until she posted photos of Bear on Facebook with a caption that read “Take me home.”

    “That’s when they said to bring him home. I was on a mission and I was going to find a way to bring Bear home,” said Hernandez.

    “I thought it was great that Spc. Hernandez pursued the adoption and she thought it through,” said Lyerla.

    Soldiers assisted Andrea and her Father gathering puppies to rescue. Lyeria said, a total of eight puppies were rescued, four with homes and four looking for homes.

    Hernandez will pay $500 U.S. dollars to aid with the cost of veterinary services and travel. It will be about two months before Hernandez and Bear will be united.

    Resolute Castle 2016 is part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, and is led by U.S. Army Europe. The primary goal is strengthening partnerships with Bulgaria, Romania, and Estonia in order to promote a peaceful and stable Europe through joint engineering efforts and military police training.



    Date Taken: 09.11.2016
    Date Posted: 09.13.2016 10:13
    Story ID: 209290
    Location: RO

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