Rae knows a few things about sailing stormy seas. The Navy veteran served aboard a frigate deep in the Pacific Ocean, but now faces stressful times with her partner recovering from a lifesaving, yet perilous operation.
From tides to talent management
It was the 1980’s when Rae enlisted in the Navy, training as a hospital corpsman.
Professionals in this role are responsible for the health and welfare of fellow sailors. They are called upon for medical duties that range from administering vaccinations to assisting in emergency surgeries.
Rae served aboard the USS Voge prior to corpsman training. At the time the frigate was based out of Mayport, Florida, and was eventually decommissioned in 1989. The balance of the her tour was served at Bethesda Naval Hospital.
“My most memorable time in service was during fleet deployment in the Pacific, seeing my small frigate out in the sea with destroyers and aircraft carriers,” Rae recalls. “I also liked my time near Washington DC, with all of the great museums on the Capitol Mall, [and] seeing the cherry blossoms blooming each year as well.”
In 2019 Rae graduated law school, decades after separating from service. The former corpsman now does legal work and is a talent manager for screenwriters.
St. Louis, Missouri is Rae’s temporary home. The Navy veteran arrived there from San Francisco several months ago with her life partner, who needed liver and kidney transplants.
Not even Rae’s corpsman training could have prepared her for this harrowing, emotional journey.
Thankfully Rae’s partner received both transplants at the end of April 2022 and is recuperating.
However, it was stressful times leading up to the relocation and transplant surgeries. While the transplants are complete, the road to recovery is long – and difficult, at times, for both Rae and her partner.
So prior to the surgery the pair made a life-affirming decision: they would rescue a companion pet.
“We decided to adopt a pet to ease the stress of our [lives] while waiting for a transplant for my partner,” Rae shares.
The Navy veteran was delighted to learn that Pets for Patriots partners with Humane Society of Missouri through their shelter locations in St. Louis, Maryland Heights, and Chesterfield Valley. The organization extends a 10 percent discount to veterans in our program who adopt eligible dogs and cats.
Rae visited the Humane Society of Missouri St. Louis campus in search of a feline friend to ease the couple’s stressful times.
Days after being approved into our program the Navy veteran met a then two year-old cat named Luna, who had been found as a stray.
Little did Luna know that her playful personality would help keep anxiety at bay in her new home.
Pets for life
Although Rae and Luna were adopted just a few months ago their bond is undeniable.
The friendly feline is a welcome distraction to the serious, life-altering challenges that otherwise occupy her new human guardians.
“Our new cute cat is so affectionate and interested in everything we do that it reduces our overall stress a lot,” Rae says. “Instead of just focusing on ourselves, we can focus on our cat instead.”
Rae appreciates the adoption fee discount offered by Humane Society of Missouri and the numerous benefits we offer in addition. All are intended to reduce the overall costs associated with pet guardianship and make it more affordable for veterans to adopt pets for life.
Luna has found her people – and her purpose. She helps Rae and her partner reduce their stress merely by being herself: a loving, frisky feline. It is a good life for a cat who started out in the world as a stray.
“Luna likes to cuddle, loves to run around our apartment chasing things. We like to take naps together as well,” Rae says. “Pets for Patriots is good way for vets to get a pet.”