Veterans Struggling to Survive Following Hurricane Ian Get Help from Paws of War

Photo courtesy of Paws of War

Hurricane Ian ripped through parts of Florida, leaving people in desperate need of help. Veterans from Paws of War, who have risks and health issues to contend with, didn’t hesitate to drop everything and rush to aid those in need. One of the people they came to the rescue of is Mark Daniel, a U.S. Army Airborne veteran, who lives in one of the worst hit areas in the hurricane’s path. He would never ask for help for himself, but for his special needs son and elderly mother he knew help was needed, and then Paws of War showed up.

“Paws of War was made aware of Mark and his family and how dire their situation was, and then we heard that no relief had reached their area yet, we knew we had to get to them immediately,” explains Robert Misseri, co-founder and president of Paws of War. “So many of our veterans are struggling through these extreme conditions, and they are not used to asking for help, especially when so many others are in great need. We had to be there for Mark, and we are relieved to have been able to get through the flooded debris-covered streets with a generator and critical supplies such as food and water.”

Like millions of people in the state, Mark’s family was left without power and a home that had sustained substantial damage. While many people can go without electricity for a while, and it may be uncomfortable, it can be life-threatening for some people. Mark’s son, Matthew, has advanced muscular dystrophy, his mother has dementia, and their elderly dog wasn’t fairing well in the aftermath.

Photo courtesy of Paws of War

Matthew uses an electric wheelchair and specialized medical equipment as well as medicine that needs to be refrigerated, and without power, he is suffering and unable to get the assistance he needs. When Paws of War heard that Mark’s family was suffering so much, their team on the ground rushed in with a generator, gas, food, water, and other emergency supplies to help.

The team worked to clear the walks and driveway of debris and most importantly showed Mark he wasn’t alone and that people cared about him and his family. They also arranged for their dog to go to the veterinarian so he can keep providing love and comfort to the family. The roof of their family home was damaged by falling trees and the wall of the home collapsed during the hurricane, exposing their life belongings and safety net to the elements.

“I just want to say thank you to everyone. It means so much to me,” says Mark Daniel. “I have my mom and my son to take care of, and it has been so hard for me to do it all, to take care of them and get outside and clean up, and with not having power for my son’s chair and everything, this help took so much of the pressure off of me.”

The most urgent need for Mark’s family has been met, but much work is left to do. Paws of War has committed to helping this veteran and his family. They will be supporting them in rebuilding their home and lives. They also raised a new flag at the residence, giving the family a symbol of hope and strength.

“Everything we are doing for Mark and his family and the countless other people and pets suffering in Florida is being made possible through the compassionate support of our donors. They are fueling our rescue mission, and every little bit makes a difference,” adds Misseri. “We are doing everything we can to support our veterans who were the first to serve us, and helping them is the least we can do. The need in Florida is heartbreaking, some of the veterans are on oxygen or electric CPAP machines and we are reaching as many people as possible in these situations.”

To help support the Hurricane Ian rescue and relief effort in Florida, click here:

Paws of War has been operating worldwide since 2014, helping the military save the animals they rescue while deployed overseas. They have helped veterans with numerous issues, including suicide, service and support dogs, companion cats and dogs, food insecurity, veterinary care, and animal rescue for deployed military.

As the demand for Paws of War’s services grew, traditional fundraisers like galas and golf outings were sidelined, putting a crimp in the needed funding to keep these services going. Paws of War has a large loyal following of supporters and looks forward to working with new corporate sponsors to support these life-saving programs running.

To learn more about Paws of War and the programs provided or donate, visit its site at:

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