Frank is an eight-year U.S. Marine Corps veteran. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam. He is a recipient of the Purple Heart Medal. The Purple Heart is awarded to those who have either lost their life or were wounded at the hands of an enemy in combat. He received his trauma on the same day in 1969 that caused him to be a recipient of the Purple Heart. Having lived his life with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and never wishing anyone to live that way, as the Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 1041 of Arvada in 2014 he challenged the Chapter to the goal of placing a trained service dog with a veteran living with PTSD. This began the journey to what is now known as Veteran’s Puppy for Life Organization.
Since the inception Frank has guided the philosophy for VPFL from the first puppy who he purchased and trained at his own expense, Maximus Amicus Bodidlius “Bo”. From the beginning of attending “snap collar (aka choke collars) training he came to believe this was not an acceptable means of training for a service dog. Today VPFL does not allow snap collars (choke collars), pinch collars, e-collars (shock collars) or any fear-based training tactics. Frank’s philosophy is that a dog trained using fear-based tactics, will not react due to that same fear.
Frank has attended training courses through one of the best-known Bond-Based service dog training organizations in the United States. He also in his final semester to complete his Certification as a Canine Behaviorist and Nutritionist. Along with three other trainers dedicated to the philosophy of no-harm training, VPFL is on the verge expanding across the State of Colorado. Through hours of research and study they have adapted bonding and no-harm training. In this unique program for veterans go through forty weeks of training with their puppy where the bond between the veteran and his puppy and positive reinforcement are highly emphasized. The result is a unique and extraordinary relationship between the two.
Frank is married to his wife of forty-six years, Therese. They have two grown children and one grandson. Frank is retired after twenty-eight years in the insurance industry as a trainer for a large national company. Frank also received a Graduate of Theology degree from Baptist Bible College West Denver. Perhaps this helped in the motivation of “Helping to Heal Wounded Souls…One Puppy at a Time!”
Frank receives no compensation for his work and service to VPFL. Everything he does is out of a labor of love. The only thing he has ever asked is that his Service Dog, Bo receive the first Graduation Challenge Coin issued by VPFL to veterans who graduate their puppy as a Service Dog. Bo received the very first Challenge Coin numbered 001.