You can help save the life of a U-S soldier, by participating in the 3rd Annual K9 Sgt. Denny Dog Walk in support of military working dogs and service dogs for wounded warriors. 

photo courtesy of runwithdennis.org

The event is a project of the Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski II Memorial Fund and takes place on Saturday, June 13, at the New Jersey Army National Guard Training Center in Sea Girt at 9:30 a.m.

Marion Zilinski, mother of the late Lt. Zilinski killed in combat, said 22 soldiers a day commit suicide because of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She added, "Even one a day is too much."

Proceeds from the event fund service dogs to help service men and women suffering from psychological disorders or Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI).

"The cost per dog is $15,000. The price just went up," said Zilinski. The non-profit organization has purchased 17 dogs to date.

The program is named for SGT. Denny, a military working dog who was stationed in Afghanistan with his NJ handler.  Nearly 600 military dogs are serving to protect our soldiers around the world. Much is made of the bond among soldiers, but the union between soldier and dog in a combat zone is just as tight.

Zilinski pointed out the family-oriented event also is educational in teaching the public about the difference between a service dog and a working dog.

"A service dog is there to offer assistance to the human that they're with and our military working dogs are soldiers, airmen, marines and sailors," Zilinski expained.

The event will begin with a special ceremony and feature demonstrations by military working dogs and police department K9's.

The non-profit group group also has shipped over 4,000 pounds of items for military dogs working overseas, according to Zilinski.

"Dogs have needs unfortunately not being met by our government, and the soldiers, the marines, the sailors and the airmen are purchasing items for the dogs our of their own pockets," said Zilinski.

She added there will be awards for most patriotic costume, biggest, smallest, farthest traveled, most unique dogs.

The event costs $25 per dog if you pre-register. Same day registration is $30 per dog and opens at 8:30 a.m.

To register go to: www.runwithdennis.org.