Kira is a loving 4 year old female labrador/pit mix. She was rescued just in time to allow her the opportunity to live a happy, loving and purposeful life. Kira is full of life, loves to work and has a huge heart! She is a high energy girl that loves hikes and to say she likes playing ball would be a big understatement! Kira was featured in the video produced by Petco and has received about 100,000 hits on that video, so she’s kind of a big deal. Kira met her new veteran dad, Vic, in May of 2014. They quickly fell in love and created a truly beautiful bond during Vic’s handling training course. Kira completed her training, passed her Canine Good Citizen Exam and her Psychiatric Service Dog Public Access Test with straight A’s! Shelter to Soldier honored Vic and Kira at their graduation held on November 10th, 2014. Graduation coverage thanks to CBS8 News

Not only is Vic being blessed with an amazing best friend, but STS and Kira have been blessed by meeting Vic. He is the creator of our new Shelter to Soldier logo and also created our new logo for our profit dog training company partner, Specialty Dog Training. Vic and Kira are a match made in heaven and we are excited to share their incredible story with all of you. Vic has gained so much from our program and the love of his working service dog Kira and he has shared these feelings with our team. We would like to share some of what Vic has shared and experienced because we want each and every one of our supporters to know, you are truly helping us “save lives, two at at time”.

I am so blessed to have had Shelter to Soldier come into my life and welcome me with open, understanding and loving arms. It has given me purpose and confidence that I thought didn’t exist anymore. In my darkest of hours I could not have imagined such a light as the one shining from Kira’s smile and Shelter to Soldier’s huge heart. I cannot thank the sponsors, volunteers, Graham, Kyrie and all those so valiantly involved with savings lives, two at at time. Blessed.

Vic Martin

I wish there was something I could say that was more than 'thank you Shelter to Soldier.' I am so very grateful for the gift you have given me. It is priceless. It is my life. You’re amazing.

Vic Martin

The last few days have been really really rough. Kira has been right by my side and right now is laying at my feet while I am typing this. She also woke me up from a nightmare last night by jumping in bed with me and kissing my face. After I woke up she kept kissing me and then curled up under the covers slept with me the rest of the morning. Pretty fantastic.

Vic Martin

Last night was so much fun, and despite an environment (very busy and loud restaurant) that would normally be difficult (or impossible) for me to be in the middle of, you all protected me and embraced me. Because of you all I felt safe. My wife, who knows my limitations (sometimes better than I do) was amazed I did so well last night. Thank you all for a wonderfully inspiring night and thank you Graham & Kyrié for giving me life and purpose. Please mark me down as a "life saved". To reiterate, I would in no way have been able to be in the environment of last night without all your love and support. You all gave me last night and I thank you.

Vic Martin about an STS event

Other Success Stories

  • Ben and Tank 2 - grad day

    Ben + Tank

    San Diego, CA

    Tank came into our program in June 2014 through the sponsorship of The Wintercreek Foundation. Ben applied to our program in the Spring of 2015, and was perhaps one of our most driven applicants.

    Learn more

  • story3

    James + Calver

    San Diego, CA

    Calver is a 3 year-old, male standard schnauzer. His dad, James, applied to Shelter to Soldier and was approved to be a recipient due to his diagnosis of TBI (traumatic brain injury) and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)

    Learn more

  • James-Ty-Meeting

    James + Tyberius

    San Diego, CA

    Jagger & Kristi at Magic 92.5 were working on helping Ty and his mom before she passed away and reached out to our founder, Graham Bloem, to help Ty.

    Learn more