Therapy dog visits veterans

- On this Veterans Day,  some veterans in declining health received an extra dose of loving care.

Seasons Hospice Care tells KTVU it added something extra to their tenth annual  tradition of visiting veterans in their homes.

This year, volunteers brought along a therapy dog to bring extra joy and comfort. 

One visit was to a home in San Jose where three members of one family served this country. 

On Monday evening, 90-year- old Jak Kirtland of San Jose is among the veterans receiving a visit from Ranger, a therapy dog to honor their military service to this country. 

Kirtland suffers from heart failure and Seasons Hospice Care volunteers are going from home to home to let veterans know they are appreciated. 
 
"I'm very proud to be a Seabee," said Kirtland.  Seabees form the construction force of the U.S Navy.  

The retired captain served for 33 years.  He was first commissioned as a 23-year-old out of Stanford University.

On this day, his thoughts turn to others. 
 
"I don't think we do enough for our servicemen,  particularly the ones who are injured, killed," said Kirtland. His  service inspired his son, Kirt, to follow in his footsteps.

The 62-year-old also served in the U.S. Navy.  

"I've lost comrades in various ways as well. It brings it home to you, the sacrifice veterans have made , the separation from family and the camaraderie that goes along with the experience," said Kirt Kirtland.

Kirt's wife Cindy Kirtland is currently serving in the Navy as a reservist. She spent nine months in Afghanistan. 

The emergency room nurse used her skills to care for the wounded.

"Devastating injuries, the bravery people show. It's just heartwarming, their commitment to our country and to each other," said Cindy Kirtland.  

"I had very little to give compared to a lot of these guys who ended up in the Middle East," said Jak Kirkland as a hospice care volunteer thanked him for his service. 

Altogether, the three members of the Kirtland family have served 75 years, yet they are humble. 

Father, son and daughter-in-law say they are honored to have served this country. 
 

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