A Pets For Vets Match Story

Nick and Stryker

Staff Sergeant Nicholas Morgan served in the United States Army for six years as a military Intelligence Analyst and paratrooper. After completing his first four years of service, Nick left the Army to start a career in commercial insurance.

In April 2005, Nicholas was notified by the US Army that he was to mobilize from civilian status to be deployed to Baghdad, Iraq. As the convoy commander for his unit, Nick led more than 60% of his unit’s convoys.

On April 18th, 2006 while leading a convoy in southern Baghdad, Nick’s vehicle was hit by an advanced improvised explosive device.

 Nick and two of his soldiers suffered wounds from the blast. Immediately after the explosion his unit began receiving machine gun fire from nearby rooftops. Despite being injured and receiving incoming machine gun fire, Nick was able to lead his unit and wounded soldiers out of harm’s way. After the attack he was medically evacuated to Kuwait for two months of medical treatment.

For his actions in Iraq, and his exceptionally meritorious service during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Nick was awarded the Bronze Star. For his wounds inflicted by the enemy he received the Purple Heart. Following his return home to the US, Nick suffered from PTSD and TBI and found it difficult to transition into civilian life.

Despite having survived some of the worst combat zones in Iraq and being able to physically return home to the US, Nick noticed that his fellow soldiers were also suffering. One of the soldier’s in Nick’s unit that was ambushed lost their battle to PTSD by suicide. Nick decided to contact Pets for Vets and asked for a dog.

Stryker was rescued from League City animal shelter. The animal control officer said that Stryker was lying on a Sprite plastic soda crate and he would not budge off of it no matter how much she tried to move him. Since she was pretty sure Stryker was not a Sprite fan, she said it might have been the last thing that the owner had left their scent on and Stryker was still hoping they would return for him. After Stryker was rescued, he was trained by Suzy Olsen in Spring, Texas.

Stryker was the perfect match for Nick. Stryker loves kids (and Nick has 5, ranging from 1 to 15 years old) and is a very loyal and sweet dog. Nick is self-employed and sometimes Stryker goes to work with Nick. Stryker has been assigned responsibilities as the Official Greeter, Head of Security and Crumb Detective.

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