September 11 Public Lecture Honors K-9 Warriors

August 6, 2014

On the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Discovery Park are collaborating to provide two special lectures about the power of the human-animal bond in the face of disaster and armed conflict.  Navy SEAL veteran Mike Ritland, accompanied by his canine companion, will share stories about the elite dogs that are specially trained for SEAL teams and the remarkable bond they have with their human companions in military service. 

After seeing first-hand the vital, life-saving role played by military working dogs during 12 years of active duty service as a U.S. Navy SEAL, including combat deployment in Iraq, Ritland started his own company training and supplying dogs for SEAL teams, the U.S. Government, and the Department of Defense.  He marvels at the rare qualities of the dogs selected to serve with the country’s elite combat units, and the deep emotional bond that forms between these canines and their human partners on the battlefield.  He also established the Warrior Dog Foundation, which is dedicated to serving the special operations community, families, and working K-9 military dogs of the Special Operation Forces (SOF).

Ritland will relay some of the stories from his book, Trident K9 Warriors, and conduct a book signing as part of his Discovery Lecture Series presentation on September 11 at 7:30 p.m. in Fowler Hall.  To view a flyer for the lecture, click here.  This evening event is open to the public.  Earlier in the day, he will give the Dr. Jack and Naomi Stockton / Class of ’71 Lecture for attendees of the PVM Fall Conference at 4:30 p.m. in Stewart Center’s Loeb Playhouse.

Writer: Kevin Doerr,

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