Stryker is a 14-month old Labrador Australian Shepard mix. We became best friends in September 2017 when we first met at the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region (https://www.hsppr.org/). He was brought up from New Mexico to make room for all the animals displaced by the flooding in Texas in 2017.
The day I brought him home was the first day of our ROTC program’s Fall field training exercise (see picture above); he’s been a Mountain Ranger (University of Colorado at Colorado Springs ROTC) since day one!! Stryker comes to all of our FTXs (see last year’s Spring FTX in the snow, pic above) and the majority of our leadership labs. Thanks to House of Dog Training (http://www.houseofdogtraining.com/stephanie-dowdell.html) here in Colorado Springs and specifically Stephanie Dowdell, Stryker and I learned to communicate quickly. Stryker is a well-mannered young pup that is an avid hiker and absolutely loves the outdoors. He hikes well both on and off-leash.
Stryker was named after the Engineer ‘Stryker’ Vehicle (ESV). He earned his name. See, just as the ESV saved my life in Afghanistan throughout combat operations, Stryker has helped to save my life here at home fighting the battles many Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airman face after the war is long over.