PLAINFIELD, Ind. – It’s National Military Appreciation Month where the nation salutes our nation’s warriors.
You could argue no man or woman says “Thank you” better than Dixie the dog.
A dog’s love is genuine, overflowing, and in this case, powered by patriotism.
"I always had a place in my heart for veterans, kids you know, however I could figure out a way to help them," said Brian Calvert.
Calvert and his coonhound Dixie make the rounds at an honor flight homecoming at Plainfield High School.
"They just melt when they see that face and those ears," he said.
Dixie is adorable and on a mission. Her howling bark is her salute. Also, on request, Dixie eagerly kneels for America’s protectors.
"I’ve been told by a lot of people, a lot of ministers, this is a walking ministry," said Calvert.
It’s a priceless act of service to veterans like Vera Nuckols who served in World War Two and the Women’s Army Corps.
"Just like when somebody prays for you. It’s the same thing. It kinda touches you," Nuckols said.
At honor flights, nursing homes, even the Mini Marathon, Dixie gives honor.
It’s a service born out of tragedy.
"About seven years ago, I lost three dogs in a house fire," Calvert remembered somberly.
It took Calvert five years to get another dog, and only after that he figured out why.
"Those folks give me a reason to want to give back to them because they gave back to us," Calvert said. "It’s the least that I can do to train a dog."