Nonprofit pairs military veterans with senior dogs in need of a home

For one military veteran, one of the best ways he’s found to honor those who’ve served is with man’s best friend.

Joel Rockey served as a navy corpsman with the 2nd Battalion 9th Marines, and now he runs the Vet Friends Foundation, which focuses on rescuing senior dogs and pairing them with vets to live out the rest of their lives.

Rockey started the organization five years ago with some of his friends from the military, and he says his motivation in starting the foundation was to “continue to serve.”

There were a lot of organizations out there to help veterans in different ways,” Rockey says. “But there weren’t a lot that were … like, ‘hey, we want you to continue to serve and bring value into your life.'”

Rockey says that when he left the military he struggled to find his next step, but he knew he wanted to continue to give back and serve his community — and he realized other veterans would want to do the same.

The Vet Friends Foundation runs and operates out of Camp Golden Years in Tehachapi, California, where senior dogs run, play and live their best lives. But the main thing that happens there is the building of relationships. Rockey says that many of the matches really save each other.

Watch the video from The List below to learn more about the organization and some of the lives it’s impacted:

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By Meredith Witthar and Kristina Guerrero from The List.