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My name is Jill Nieglos. I worked as a flight attendant for Pan American for 17 years, including the Vietnam War era. I am currently writing a seven-part series of stories about my experiences as a Pan Am Flight Attendant during the Vietnam War for "Eyes and Ears," which is an online edition of something like "Stars and Stripes" but for the Australian Vietnam War Veteran's Association. I am on segment three now. I flew the R and R flights for Pan Am for over two years out of Nam and into Sydney. The Australian editor wants my viewpoint of the war from what he calls a "Hostie" viewpoint, or in our version of English, the stew's viewpoint. Writing this has been an emotion roller coaster for me. I have remembered all the good things I contributed to the fella's R & R's, but knowing many didn't make it home, I have cried a bucket of tears while writing this. I did not know I would be so profoundly effected forty four years after my experiences.
This segment will contain stories about friends of mine - mostly high school friends actually - but will be couched as "stories on the airplane." I love dogs and have been raising guide dogs for the blind for seventeen years now. Dogs are a huge part of my life as you might guess by my email address. I moved to Mexico almost two years ago, and am now raising my second puppy for the guide dog school here in Mexico. I am also working on putting together a puppy raising group in my town of San Miguel de Allende, GTO, where with the help of the Vet school, we are planning on starting a breeding program for the school for the blind. They currently do not have one, which is a serious problem for the graduation rate at the school. We hope to change all that by breeding and raising puppies in a program like the programs of the guide dog schools in the USA.
In this work of starting a breeding program I am working with a Phd in Canine Genetics at UNAM in Queretero, which is a Vet School about an hour away. The director has asked me to address his students, thus I am giving a talk to the them (over four-hundred) at the end of this month. My research has me re-reading for the fourth time "Paws and Effect;" The Healing Power of Dogs" by Sharon Sakson. This re-read is to refresh my memory about the genetics of service dogs, and in the re-reading I rediscovered the wonderful segment about MWDs. This wonderful segment has me writing to you because I would love to include some MWD stories in my talk and in the book I am writing.
I am writing a book to be entitled "Dog Bones for the Soul." I would enjoy writing either an entire book about MWDs or a segment of stories about fellas and their dogs in my book. If I did get enough stories for a book, I would write an entire book just about that subject: the wonder of the MWD, which shows the trust and love the dog and handler have for one another.
I am humbly asking you if you could send an email out to your handlers from Vietnam about my project as I would love to include a story of a young man's love of his working dog. Also, if you could send something out to alert the men and women from the current wars we are in who are dog handlers, I would be delighted to start a book about their dogs. I know their passion for their dogs equal my passion for the pups I raise for blind people.
If you could do this for me, I would very much appreciate it. It would help me, help the world understand the importance of the MWD, and give the handlers a place to pour out their love for their own MWD.
I thank you very much for any help you can give me in this endeavor.