Clay Luthy’s bad knees have been operated on five times over the years, and they kept him from re-enlisting in the Air Force. He can’t bend his left one, and he has to go easy on his right.
But that’s why he has Charlotte, a 10-year-old golden retriever who also happens to be his co-worker at a Lowe’s store in Abilene.
The Abilene Reporter-News profiled Luthy and his service dog last month, but the duo turned famous over the weekend, when a Lowe’s shopper posted a Facebook photo of them standing together in the store.
By Monday night, the picture had been shared more than 125,000 times.
It showed what appeared to be a typical day at work for Luthy and Charlotte, who wears a miniature Lowe’s apron.
The service dog is trained to help Luthy to his feet if he falls down, according to the Reporter-News.
The 35-year-old was a C-130 loadmaster in the Air Force, but his knee problems forced him out of the service. When he applied to Lowe’s, he also put in an application for Charlotte, according to the Reporter-News.
The store approved her, and now she’s part of the crew, tagging along Luthy as he helps customers.
“Everybody loves Charlotte,” Luthy told the newspaper. “This definitely was not part of the job description.”
An aerial view of the Pentagon building in Washington, June 15, 2005. U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld defended the Guantanamo prison against critics who want it closed by saying U.S. taxpayers have a big financial stake in it and no other facility could replace it at a Pentagon briefing on Tuesday. (Reuters/Jason Reed JIR/CN)
The Pentagon is sending nearly 1,000 more troops to the Middle East as part of an escalating crisis with Iran that defense officials are struggling to explain.
The Marine lieutenant colonel removed from command of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in May was ousted over alleged "misconduct" but has not been charged with a crime, Task & Purpose has learned.
Lt. Col. Francisco Zavala, 42, who was removed from his post by the commanding general of 1st Marine Division on May 7, has since been reassigned to the command element of 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, and a decision on whether he will be charged is "still pending," MEF spokeswoman 1st Lt. Virginia Burger told Task & Purpose last week.
"We are not aware of any ongoing or additional investigations of Lt. Col. Zavala at this time," MEF spokesman 2nd Lt. Brian Tuthill told Task & Purpose on Monday. "The command investigation was closed May 14 and the alleged misconduct concerns Articles 128 and 133 of the UCMJ," Tuthill added, mentioning offenses under military law that deal with assault and conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman.
"There is a period of due process afforded the accused and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty," he said.
When asked for an explanation for the delay, MEF officials directed Task & Purpose to contact 1st Marine Division officials, who did not respond before deadline.
The investigation of Zavala, completed on May 3 and released to Task & Purpose in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, showed that he had allegedly acted inappropriately. The report also confirmed some details of his wife's account of alleged domestic violence that Task & Purpose first reported last month.
On Monday, Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans received a suspended sentence of 60 days in jail, said Samantha Dooies, an assistant to the New Hanover County District Attorney.
Evans must complete 18 months of unsupervised probation, pay $8,000 in restitution, complete a domestic violence offenders program, and he cannot have any contact with his former girlfriend, Dooies told Task & Purpose. The special operations Marine is also only allowed to have access to firearms though the military while on base or deployed.