HONOREE: Gerad Claseman, NOMINATOR: Leo Hauguel
Gerad is the president of the American Service Animal Society, a non-profit organization in Chandler. The funding comes strictly from a big heart and a compassionate man.
My daughter is a 100 percent disabled veteran. Upon the advice of the VA, Teresa rescued a dog from the Arizona Humane Society to act as a service dog.
Gerad worked with Teresa and Marley from the time Marley was 3 months old. Gerad showed great patience, respect, caring, compassion and dedication in this training, for both Marley and Teresa.
I have seen these qualities of Gerad's exhibited with so many other disabled veterans at his center.
HE DOES NOT CHARGE for his service and has made many trips (100 miles round-trip) from Chandler to north Glendale in Marley's training and for Teresa's comfort.
These veterans and their dogs are his life's work. Time and again, we have witnessed his success with veterans and their dogs to achieve their goals.
We will always be thankful to Gerad for allowing our daughter to regain a normal life with the help of her service dog.
Marley is now a fully-certified service animal, and his training continues.
We know that without Gerad's caring and dedication to disabled veterans, Teresa would not have the quality of life that she has today. He does not do this for profit, he does this for the love of disabled veterans.