Lindsay is an Army Reservist with a humanitarian nature who has devoted her career to improving the health and welfare of others. She has recently done the same for her own family by saving a goofy shelter dog named Tressie.
Service to country and community
In 2006, Lindsay enlisted in the Army as a transportation specialist. She joined the Alabama National Guard after completing basic and advanced training.
During her sophomore year in college, Lindsay enrolled in the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). In 2009, she commissioned as a medical corps officer and became a Reservist with the 330th Medical Brigade (MD BDE) in Illinois.
The Army Reserve allows soldiers to pursue civilian careers while they train close to home and prepare to serve when called upon. Instead, Lindsay spent much of her early military career with the 330th MD BDE on Active Duty Operational Support (ADOS) orders. ADOS orders allow a soldier to perform a variety of functions in order to add temporary manpower in support of a unit’s mission.
Lindsay fulfilled various assignments in this capacity, including: “…the organizational inspection coordinator for the brigade, operations officer, mobilization officer in charge of deploying any of our 24 down trace units sourced to deploy, and our intelligence officer.”
Six years after her commission, in 2015, Lindsay deployed to Honduras with the 94th Combat Support Hospital (CSH). There she served as their medical plans and operations officer. Her time with the 94th CSH provided her with a wealth of hands-on public health experience.
“During my nine-month deployment, I assisted in the planning of nine humanitarian missions throughout Central and South Americas,” she says.
Lindsay credits that trip with shedding light on how she could continue to serve the public in the next stage of her career.
“My deployment to Honduras and coordinating the humanitarian missions on the ground was the most humbling experience of my life,” she shares, “and concreted my decision to enter public health as my civilian profession.”
Lindsay returned to the 330th at the conclusion of her deployment to Honduras. She currently works at the local health department as a health promotion coordinator. The role involves a great deal of public outreach, one for which she is naturally suited.
“[I] love my job,” she says, “which is educating the community, working with schools, and helping people make informed decisions that will impact their health.”
Recently, Lindsay started to think about life after the military. She submitted paperwork to resign her commission in order to complete her master of public health degree and advance her civilian career.
Giving a goofy shelter dog a better life
Lindsay’s passion for improving the welfare and happiness of the community around her does not apply to humans only.
“Our family needed another companion,” she says, “and our shelter had so many wonderful dogs that needed a home.”
There were two other reasons that inspired Lindsay to adopt a companion pet.
“We also wanted to give my boyfriend’s children, who are with us part time, another member of the family that they could love and spend time with,” she explains.
Lindsay visited her local shelter, the Kankakee County Humane Foundation. The organization joined our national shelter partner program just a few months earlier. They provide deeply discounted adoption fees to veterans in our program and have been serving their community since 1963.
At the shelter the Army Reservist and her family met Tressie, a then eight month-old, mixed breed dog.
Despite her young age, Tressie was Pets for Patriots eligible because she was at least 40 pounds at the time of her adoption. Large dogs are among the most overlooked at shelters, along with pets who are adult, special needs, and chronically homeless.
Lindsay found out about Pets for Patriots from the shelter’s adoption staff.
“I learned about this program through my local shelter and thought it was an excellent organization and opportunity,” she says. “I have loved working with the Pets for Patriots crew and love their genuine passion for what they do.”
Goofy new family member improves lives for all
Tressie is embracing her new, post-shelter life with gusto.
“She is a total goofball and brings even more laughter to our house. Even Mort the cat is warming up to her…kind of,” Lindsay jokes.
It would seem nearly impossible not to be charmed by Tressie’s playful personality. Her zest for all things silly is a welcome break from the serious nature of Lindsay’s work and studies.
“She loves to play with anything and her goofy antics are hilarious,” Lindsay says. “She loves to do somersaults, play catch, and loves chasing water from the garden hose and vacuums. Her favorite toys are a squeaky ‘chewbacca’ and a hedge hog, but nothing tops the dust buster, which she loves to chase after when I am vacuuming up messes.”
The shelter dog’s spirit is contagious, too; she brings joy to everyone in her world.
“She is our other child and has brought so much happiness to us and to my boyfriend’s children,” Lindsay says. “Her energy and excited nature is infectious, and keeps us on our toes.”
The dictionary defines a humanitarian as someone who is concerned with or who promotes human welfare. And there is no doubt that the military has nurtured Lindsay’s humanitarian spirit. It has inspired her to help others live more healthy, rewarding lives.
Lindsay’s life is devoted to helping those in need – mostly strangers in places both near and far away. But when she adopted a companion pet she fulfilled a commitment to help people closest to her – her family – which now includes a four-legged member.
For Lindsay, adopting is as much about giving love as getting it in return.
“….amazing to work with,” she says of her experience with our charity, “and giving a shelter dog a home is so rewarding.”