Veteran Marine Master Sergeant Shares Why Canine Service Companions Are 'Invaluable'

veteran appreciation for dog
veteran appreciation for dog


Retired Master Sergeant (MSgt). Davey Lind of the United States Marine Corps always has an adorable reason to greet every day: his service companion Murphy "Murph" the Cane Corso.

Long before meeting Murph, Lind joined the Marine Corps, launching a military career where he "served actively for 20 years, six months and three days," the veteran tells PEOPLE.

"I saw combat action in Desert Shield, Desert Storm as an infantry marine. In the mid-nineties, I went to a specialized unit called Force Reconnaissance. And I was there from the mid-nineties till my date of retirement at Force Recon and Recon Battalion, two specialized units on Camp Pendleton," Lind adds.

On June 14, 2007, Lind was injured by an IED blast in Iraq during his fifth combat tour and became a double-leg amputee.

The veteran says the most challenging parts about the days following the incident were the isolation and uncertainty he experienced when thinking about his future.

"I was just kind of taken away from everything," the retired master sergeant says.

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"I went from being the typical military man to I can't even get myself to the bathroom. The fall from being in command to being injured and fighting for my life happened in the blink of an eye," he adds.

To help adjust to this sudden shift, Lind worked with Semper Fi & America's Fund to find a dog to be his service companion.

The nonprofit, dedicated to assisting wounded veterans, helped Lind choose an American Bullmastiff named Zeus.

"Zeus was a big, lovable, loyal lug of a dog that cared nothing about anything but being with me," Lind says.

In the months following Lind's IED injury, Zeus helped his owner adjust to his prosthetic legs by encouraging Lind to get out of bed and go for walks.

"Walking with him and taking him around my condo complex at the time was really important," Lind, who went on to become the first double-leg amputee CrossFit coach, says.

In March 2017, Zeus died, and Lind was faced with the grief of losing a service companion for the first time.

veteran appreciation for dog
veteran appreciation for dog


"I had no idea the pain I was in for," the veteran recalls. "It was the first time in nine years that I was isolated again."

After struggling with Zeus' death for several months, Lind decided to start searching for his next service companion. Semper Fi & America's Fund once again helped the veteran find the right canine for his lifestyle — enter Murph.

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"He just wants to be with me, hates being alone but doesn't destroy stuff when he is," Lind says of his service companion of the past five years, who is also "very intuitive."

"He'll just come up and nudge me, bringing me out of anything negative that might be going on," he adds.

Lind is happy to pay it forward by emphasizing the importance of Murph and other service companions.

veteran appreciation for dog
veteran appreciation for dog


"I want people to understand how invaluable service companions are because of the emotional support they provide," he says.

"I wouldn't have had either one of these canine companion experiences without the support of Semper Fi & America's Fund," he adds.

To learn more about the nonprofit and how the organization serves veterans like Lind, visit Semper Fi & America's Fund's website.

For the eleventh consecutive year, The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation and PXG will partner with Semper Fi & America's Fund (The Fund) in the Double Down for Veterans Match Campaign. Through December 31, every dollar donated is matched dollar for dollar up to $10 million.