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Stories by Beth Ford Roth

Even The Devil Can't Fool A Dog - Part 12

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Carlos reminded me he was far from an anomaly, as tens of thousands of service members continued to return home from combat, forever altered by what they had seen and experienced in war. He wanted the people who read the blog posts I wrote to know this. That was why he told me his story.

Even The Devil Can't Fool A Dog - Part 11

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Carlos told me he and Logan had been to only one public sporting event since returning from Iraq. It was another Padres game, and the experience drained him.

Even The Devil Can't Fool A Dog - Part 10

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Carlos said he knew Logan had a better sense of smell and hearing than he did, and trusted Logan to alert him of any danger – be it real or imagined - which allowed the Marine veteran to relax, even if only a little bit.

Even The Devil Can't Fool A Dog - Part 9

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Carlos, who served in the Marines as a leader, teaching fellow Leathernecks the tools they’d need to survive in the war zone, decided to become a full-time trainer at Freedom Dogs, teaching Marines with PTSD how to survive their war wounds.

Even The Devil Can't Fool A Dog - Part 8

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When Carlos first started attending training sessions at Freedom Dogs, he felt he didn’t fit in. Big reason: Carlos was afraid of dogs. He didn’t like them, and he believed they didn’t like him. In the tough, gang-infested Chicago streets where Carlos grew up, dogs were treated more as weapons than pets.

Even The Devil Can't Fool A Dog - Part 7

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A critical care nurse and veteran’s daughter named Meribeth Russell started Freedom Dogs in 2006. Russell got the idea when she participated in a hospital study that found obese children who were able to bond with a therapy dog had an easier time losing weight.

Even The Devil Can't Fool A Dog - Part 6

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Without the distractions of combat, symptoms of PTSD began plaguing Carlos’s everyday life. He began to drink heavily to blot out the depression and anxiety he was feeling. And the guilt.

Even The Devil Can't Fool A Dog - Part 5

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In the days following the suicide car bombing in 2004, Carlos didn’t feel angry. He didn’t feel frightened. He didn’t even mourn the men who were so brutally killed that day. Carlos didn’t feel anything at all. He was completely numb.

Even The Devil Can't Fool A Dog - Part 4

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There was a shyness about Carlos, despite his intimidating appearance. Muscles earned from years of required physical fitness bulged under his black shirt, his sleeves pushed up to his elbows to reveal a maze of tattoos covering both of his forearms.

Even The Devil Can't Fool A Dog - Part 3

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I first met Carlos Cruz in 2012, two weeks after he officially retired from the Marine Corps. It took quite a few email exchanges to nail down the time and day of our meeting. One of the most marked symptoms of the Traumatic Brain Injury Carlos suffered in the suicide attack is his inability to remember small details.

Even The Devil Can't Fool A Dog - Part 2

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The force of the explosion knocked Carlos unconscious. When he came to, he had momentarily lost his hearing. The chaotic world before him was silent, but the facial contortions of the Marines who had survived told him that they were screaming in horror.

Even The Devil Can't Fool A Dog - Part 1

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Carlos Cruz was part of a three-vehicle convoy patrolling the scorching, silent Iraqi desert. Carlos, a Marine lance corporal at the time, was in the rear of the convoy, lying down in the back seat of a Humvee. The only protection he had from outside attack was a Kevlar blanket covering his body, and sandbags pushed against the window. The Humvee itself had no armor.

Even The Devil Can't Fool A Dog - Prologue

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Dogs are helping troops coming home from war through their darkest days. Home Post's multi-day series called "Even the Devil Can't Fool a Dog" will focus on how a Yellow Labrador Retriever named Logan is helping Camp Pendleton Marine Corps veteran Carlos Cruz battle post-traumatic stress disorder.

Artists And Illustrators Wanted...By The US Navy (Video)

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Did you know the U.S. Navy has an art collection of more than 20,000 paintings, illustrations, and engravings? The head curator of the Navy Art Collection wants to add to that compilation, and is asking sailors to submit artwork that capture life in the Navy.

Blind Camp Pendleton Marine Vet Competing In Marathon Via Wheelchair (Video)

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In 2009, Marine veteran Staff Sgt. James Carey lost his sight and his ability to walk when he almost drowned during training at Camp Pendleton. Carey has already competed in three marathons, with the help of his fellow Pendleton Marines. Now Carey has moved to Phoenix, where he plans to participate in that city's marathon.

Was Navy Jet's UC Berkeley Fly-By A Brotherly Shout-Out? (Video)

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A Navy jet's fly-by the UC Berkeley campus last week left babies crying, dogs barking, and a baffled community in its wake. Now, it turns out the pilot may have been trying to give his brother a shout-out before moving to Texas.

Life In Prison For Airman Convicted Of Murdering Navy Broadcaster

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It's life behind bars for the airman convicted of killing a Navy broadcaster in a convoluted tale of greed and adultery. A panel of ten service members sentenced Air Force Staff Sgt. Sean Oliver to life in prison, with the possibility of parole, for murdering Petty Officer 2nd Class Dmitry Chepusov.

5,000 Pizzas Headed To Afghanistan For Super Bowl Sunday (Video)

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The nonprofit group Pizza 4 Patriots is sending 5,000 pies to troops stationed in Afghanistan, so they can enjoy a slice or two (or five) while watching the Super Bowl. And despite Pizza 4 Patriots' name, service members who are Seahawks fans will get their fair share of the pies, too.

Camp Pendleton Marine Veteran Killed In Libya Hotel Attack (Video)

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David Berry, the only American killed in Tuesday's attack on a luxury hotel in Libya, was a Marine Corps veteran who'd served at Camp Pendleton.

Could Your Dog Be The 2015 Military Pet Of The Year?

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Time is running out to enter Dogs on Deployment's "2015 Military Pet of the Year" contest. Dogs on Deployment is a non-profit group that helps find temporary homes for the beloved canines (and kitties) of troops during their deployments.

Airman Found Guilty Of Murder In Killing Of Navy Broadcaster

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After just five hours of deliberation, a military panel found Air Force Staff Sgt. Sean Oliver guilty of unpremeditated murder in the killing of Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dmitry Chepusov. Oliver faces a sentence of life in prison.

US Marine's Bid To Get Murder Charges Dropped In Death Of Transgender Filipina Rejected

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An attempt by U.S. Marine Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton to get murder charges against him dropped in the death of a transgender Filipina has failed. A Department of Justice panel in the Philippines rejected Pemberton's appeal in the murder case of Jennifer Laude.

US Army To Charge Bowe Bergdahl With Desertion, News Outlets Claim

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Several media outlets, citing unnamed U.S. defense officials, are reporting that the U.S. Army will charge Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl with desertion this week. However, the Army is denying these reports to be true, saying no decision on Bergdahl's fate has yet been made.

USS Green Bay Leaves San Diego For New Home In Japan (Video)

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The USS Green Bay left San Diego for good on Monday, as it headed for its new home of Sasebo, Japan. And while the ship has always been homeported in San Diego, the USS Green Bay also has a tight bond with its namesake city - and the Green Bay Packers.

Military Commissaries Facing Budget Axe Once Again?

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Military commissaries might be forced to shut their doors to shoppers by up to two days a week, under a draft budget proposal for fiscal 2016.

Two Camp Pendleton Marines Killed In Helicopter Crash ID'ed

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The two Camp Pendleton-based Marines killed Friday when their 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing UH-1Y Huey helicopter crashed have been identified as Capt. Elizabeth Kealey, 32, and 1st Lt. Adam Satterfield, 25.

Two Camp Pendleton Marines Killed In Helicopter Crash At 29 Palms

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Two Marines assigned to the Third Marine Aircraft Wing at Camp Pendleton were killed Friday when their UH-1Y Huey helicopter crashed aboard Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms. The military has not yet released the identities of the two fallen Marines.

Therapy Dogs Would Help Veterans With PTSD Under New Bill

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Veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder could help train therapy dogs for other veterans under a pilot program being considered by Congress.

Scandal Over Gitmo Head's Firing Includes Rumors Of Adultery, Suspicious Death

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U.S. Navy Captain John Nettleton lost his job as commanding officer of Guantanamo Bay after NCIS discovered he was allegedly having an adulterous affair with a woman named Lara Tur. Tur's husband, Marine veteran Christopher Tur, was found dead in the waters off Gitmo on Jan. 11.

Army Team Deploying To Ramona To Investigate Helicopter Crash (Video)

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A team from the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center in Alabama is deploying to Ramona to take the lead on the investigation into what caused a California Army National Guard helicopter to crash on Tuesday evening.

USS Carl Vinson Crew Member Advises Aspiring Blue Angels (Video)

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The Blue Angels are hiring new crew members. But exactly what does it take to make the Navy's elite flight demonstration squadron? One former Blue Angel now serving aboard the USS Carl Vinson has some words of advice for those aspiring to make the team.

FakeBabyGate: The 'American Sniper' Movie Controversy (Video)

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Progressives say the movie "American Sniper" is war propaganda. Conservatives contend the film honors a great patriot. But there is one matter both sides seem to agree on: That is one super fake-looking baby Bradley Cooper is holding in the movie.

California Army National Guard Helicopter Crashes At Ramona Airport

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The pilot and co-pilot of a California Army National Guard helicopter suffered minor injuries when the chopper crashed Tuesday evening at the Ramona Airport.

Camp Pendleton's Sgt. Maj. Ronald Green Chosen As Top Enlisted Marine (Video)

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I Marine Expeditionary Force Sergeant Major Ronald L. Green, who is based at Camp Pendleton, will serve as the 18th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps. The promotion will make Green the top enlisted leader of the Marines.

Supreme Court: Electrocution And Burn Pit Lawsuits Can Proceed

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The U.S. Supreme Court will allow three lawsuits against military contractors KBR Inc. and Halliburton Co. to proceed. The suits center around cases involving electrocution and toxic burn pits on military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Marines Honor Legacy Of Martin Luther King Jr. (Video)

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Marines are paying homage to the "example of courage, leadership, and integrity" displayed by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on the holiday that honors his memory.

Male Model And West Point Grad Killed By Train (Video)

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George "Greg" Plitt Jr. wasn't your typical male model. The 37-year-old who called Southern California home was a West Point graduate who'd served five years in the Army. On Jan. 17, Plitt was hit and killed by a train while filming a workout video on railroad tracks in Burbank.

Seat At State Of The Union Reserved For Imprisoned Camp Pendleton Marine Veteran

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As President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address next Tuesday, a seat will be empty in the House chamber. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Michigan, reserved the chair for Marine Corps veteran Amir Hekmati, who has been held in an Iranian prison for more than three years.

USS Peleliu Decommissioning Ceremony Slated For March

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The U.S. Navy will hold a special decommissioning ceremony for the USS Peleliu the morning of March 31, at Naval Base San Diego's Pier #7. The Peleliu is the last ship of its kind, and has been in service for almost 35 years.

Bombshell Confession Video Opens Navy Broadcaster Murder Trial

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An interrogation video in which Air Force Staff Sgt. Sean Oliver reportedly confesses to strangling Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dmitry Chepusov was prosecutors' first piece of evidence in the court-martial of Oliver, which began on Monday.

Oscar Nominations For Chris Kyle Biopic 'American Sniper' And Star Bradley Cooper

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"American Sniper" — the movie based on Navy SEAL Chris Kyle's bestselling memoir of the same name — has been nominated for Best Picture by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Bradley Cooper, who portrays Kyle in the movie, got a nomination for Best Actor.

AirAsia Search Ends For San Diego Ships USS Sampson and USS Fort Worth

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As news comes that Indonesian navy divers have discovered the fuselage of AirAsia Flight 8501, so does the announcement that the San Diego-based USS Sampson and USS Fort Worth have concluded their participation in the search effort.

No-Cost Tax Filing Service For Military Families

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Does the mere thought of having to do your taxes fill you with dread? Well, if you're part of a military family, there's a way to make tax season less painful. The Department of Defense and H&R Block are teaming up to offer no-cost tax preparation for service members and their families.

Prisoner Swap For Camp Pendleton Marine Veteran Held In Iran?

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Amir Hekmati, a Marine Corps veteran who served at Camp Pendleton, has been held against his will in Iran for more than three years. Now his Michigan-based family says Iranian officials want to free him as part of a prisoner swap - an idea they oppose.

Navy SEAL Killed In Skydiving Training Accident (Video)

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The Navy is investigating the death of Petty Officer 1st Class William "Blake" Marston, a Navy SEAL who died Jan. 11 during a skydiving training exercise.

Murder Trial Of Slain Navy Broadcaster Begins; Airman Pleads Not Guilty

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The court-martial of Air Force Staff Sgt. Sean Oliver, who has been charged with killing Navy Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Dmitry Chepusov, started Monday at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

AirAsia Search Through The Eyes Of A San Diego-Based Helicopter Crewman (Video)

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When Naval Aircrewman 1st Class Joseph Jiardina departed San Diego on Oct. 31 aboard the USS Sampson for a scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific, there was no way he could've known he'd become a critical part of the search for wreckage and bodies after the crash of AirAsia Flight 8501 in the Java Sea.

How War Brings About Medical Advances - Part V

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So, military doctors wondered, how to relieve the pressure within the soldier’s skull without killing him? The answer was something called a craniectomy. The inventor was an Army neurosurgeon named Col. Rocco Armonda.

How War Brings About Medical Advances - Part IV

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Most medical advances in war usually happen by accident, with a military doc facing a traumatically injured patient he’s not sure how to fix. So, tries everything he can think of until something works. This was how a life-saving technique unique to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq came into practice.

Military Families Stationed Overseas Find Commissary Shelves Empty

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Military families stationed in Europe and the Pacific are finding it difficult to get the food and supplies they need from their local base commissaries.

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