Veterans raise awareness for service dogs in Myrtle Beach - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Veterans raise awareness for service dogs in Myrtle Beach

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Right in the center of Plyler Park on Sunday, was a different kind of spectacle drawing in the crowds. 

Dan Spangler and Joe Trainor Jr. made their first stop of a 6,000-mile journey in Myrtle Beach to raise awareness for veterans and service dogs.

By each veteran's side was each man's best friend, their service dog. Walking next to Trainor was CT, and by Spangler's side was Spanky.

"He's the reason I'm alive today, he's the main reasons. There were things going on when I came back, medical issues and just being back from a war zone, that were tough to deal with,” said Spangler.

Spangler adopted Spanky after he finished up his service with the Marines. He was dealing with several medical issues and says Spanky helped him push through.

Now, he's walking across the country to raise awareness, and raise money, so no veteran will ever have to give up their service animal if life takes a turn for the worse.

"As Veterans we're problem solvers, we fix problems on our own, finding help is not an option usually but we're trying to spread the word that there is help out there,” Spangler said.

Trainor learned about Spangler's mission just a few weeks ago and called him to join. The two had never met, but shared similar experiences and both wanted the same thing.

"I said, 'I'm in, and not knowing what it was, here I am two weeks later,'” said Trainor.

So, with Parris Island in their sights for Monday, and California later on down the road, both men and their dogs made the most of Myrtle Beach.

The group collected plenty of money, but it was the knowledge they shared, that they say will make the biggest impact.

If you want to follow along on the group's journey or make a donation, visit the group's website at keepyourspanky.com.

The two veterans will travel by any means necessary, and they say volunteer support is key to helping them reach their goal.

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