Gage is from Oakhurst, Texas. While Gage may look young, after you meet him, it is easy to tell that he is wise beyond his years. He is soft spoken but speaks his mind. He is funny and sincere.
Gage enlisted in the military in 2009 and served in the Air Force and Army. In 2012, Gage was deployed to Afghanistan. He served with the 818th Engineer Company. Gage was a sapper, also known as a combat engineer.
Gage is humble and earnest. He won’t tell you about all of the medals and awards he received while serving in Afghanistan. The Department of Defense calls it “SERVING IN AN AREA OF IMMINENT DANGER.” Gage says he was just “doing his job over there.” Gage’s job? Clearing IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) from the roadways each day so that soldiers could travel safely across them. Gage went on hundreds of missions clearing the roads from bombs that if detonated would blow up his unit’s truck into hundreds of pieces. Which happened more than once. Luckily, Gage’s unit miraculously managed to stay safe from harm.
Other members of his company would not have the same fate. On December 3th, 2012, two soldiers assigned to the 818th Engineer Company (Sapper) were killed in action while on duty in Afghanistan. They were conducting route clearance operations when an IED struck their vehicle in southern Afghanistan. Gage is grateful to be alive—but there are days where he experiences survivor’s guilt making his mind wander back to that day. When Gage completed his military service, he enrolled in college. Gage is currently a college student at Texas A&M in College Station. As you might imagine, Gage’s life experiences distinguish him from many of his fellow students. Gage noticed he looked at things differently than many of his friends. He started isolating and becoming withdrawn. In 2016, Gage went down to the shelter in Montgomery County in Conroe, Texas to adopt a dog. He said he was looking for a loyal 4 legged friend who maybe had a rough start at life and needed a second chance. The shelter staff saw that he was a veteran and told him instead of adopting a dog himself, he should contact Pets for Vets.
This greyhound mix was probably not going to live the veterinarian told Ricqi, Poseidon’s foster. Poseidon had distemper. He had mange. He was barely alive. But Ricqi wasn’t giving up on him. She could tell Poseidon was a fighter. And thank goodness she didn’t give up. Poseidon lived. He blossomed into a smart, funny, beautiful and graceful greyhound. Later, he was accepted into the Pets for Vets program. When Pets for Vets matched Gage and Poseidon, it was like reuniting 2 old mates that had not seen each other for a long time. These days you can find Gage working in his wood shop. He makes beautiful furniture and home décor by hand to help pay for school and Poseidon is always by his side watching close by. Gage engraves the name of a fallen soldier in every piece of furniture he makes to honor and remember the ultimate sacrifice each soldier has made for us.
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