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Fairway and the American Warrior Initiative (AWI) recently teamed up to give away a service dog to a deserving military Veteran. Elizabeth Stephens, a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and a mother of three children, was surprised with the news last week in Seattle, Washington.

Stephens graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and joined the Marine Corps as a pilot. She made an incredible impact during her 19-year military career and was the first female African American to fly an A46 and to fly the Osprey. “I had no idea that I would be receiving a service dog,” Stephens said. “I am a bit overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness of Fairway and AWI. I know how much of a difference it will make in my life to have a partner I can count on. The service dog will be with me all the time – sort of like a battle buddy.”

Fairway founded the non-profit AWI in 2015 to help fund local branch efforts to aid deserving veterans. “In the past six years, Fairway has funded almost 200 service dogs for veterans,” said Louise Thaxton. “Our goal is to fund 100 service dogs in 2021.”

This isn’t the first time a Veteran was honored and given a service dog in Washington state. Back in April of 2019, two service dogs were given to two deserving Veterans residing near JBLM. Bill Moore was connected with his dog Charcoal, and Gary was connected to his dog, Bernard. “The connection between the dogs and the Veteran is very special and heartwarming to witness. Our team is thankful to help in any way can to get more Service Dogs into the hands of deserving Veterans,” Ethan Wilson, co-founder of VA the Fairway said.

This time, Ms. Stephens dog was sponsored by Fairways Wholesale Lending group. ”Fairway’s wholesale platform came together to sponsor a service dog and has plans for more in 2021.” said Holly Mattson, VP of Fairway Wholesale Lending. The dog was trained and provided by Bob Wendler from Custom Canines Service Dog Academy who worked hard pairing his dog with this amazing Veteran. This was the 43rd dog we have sponsored through Custom Canines.

Mattson added. “We always provide a human touch in our work. That doesn’t always exist at companies. The brokers we work with know that we will bend over backwards to help their borrowers out.”

More information about the service dog giveaway in Seattle may be found here.

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