Francisco Oquendo – Sergeant Major

I am Sergeant Major Francisco Oquendo. I served my country for 23 years active duty and 8 years as a government contractor. I worked all 31 years in the special operations community conducting strategic missions throughout the globe. I am 100% disabled. This lifestyle does take a toll on the body and the mind.

Before PTSD was identified as a real injury it was frowned upon to even mention that you had those types of feelings. It was best just to keep quiet and deal with it the best way you can. Well, we all know that tactic doesn’t work.

It costs me 2 marriages a drinking problem and a major anger issue against all people who could not relate to what I have been through. Then Harry Toro contacted me and told me he wanted to give me one of his dogs. I was very reluctant for about 1 year. I was living by myself in an RV traveling from state to state. Staying away from as many people as I could. I did this for almost 4 years. I finally called Harry and told him I would take a dog but I was having doubts about the responsibility and everything that it entailed. It turned out to be the best decision I ever made.

Niche my black Cane Corso gave me nothing but love and affection, made me laugh, and calmed me down from always being on guard. This amazing dog also gave me a purpose to do things every day. I eventually decided to move back to NC to spend time with my family and Niche made that happen for me. Shortly after, I found my soulmate and I believe that would not have happened without the love and dedication that this dog has given me. Digging me out from the emotional pain and mental anguish that I was in, Niche saved my life. He is always by my side.

Harry’s breed of Corsos is the most loving and devoted breed of dog I have ever seen, lifesavers. It is my true belief that Harry’s vision and goals for disabled veterans by using his dogs are a Godsend. Thank you Harry for all you do!

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