Mikhail Dasovich, or “Das” to his friends, knew that he wanted to be a Marine on September 11th, 2001  – when he was in the 5th grade.  Even at that young age, Das understood tragedy and loss.  He recognized that he had to sacrifice in order to truly appreciate the blessings that he had at home.

In 2012, Das’ unit 17 served a seven-month combat tour in Sangin, a town in the Helmand province of Afghanistan. On a recon patrol, Das’ platoon was ambushed and cut off from a retreat. Over the next 24 hours, his Platoon Sergeant and members of his platoon were picked off by enemy fire.

Das’ Platoon Sergeant, who was a father figure to Das, was shot in the leg by a sniper.

It took an emergency force of over 100 Marines to bail Das and his Platoon out of that desperate position.

After returning home, Das lived a double life. Outwardly, Das was healthy and happy. But behind closed doors, he was a mess, dealing with severe PTSD. His struggles got so severe that Das told his best friend that he wanted to commit suicide. His friend reported Das to the VA. While Das was upset at the time, he now is thankful to his friend.

In Episode 7 of Petco’s 4Outdoors Featuring Dogs2DogTags, Das is matched with Midnight – a black lab companion dog.

“You are a stronger person when you are able to emotionally express yourself.  The love of a dog can help you get there” – Das.

Learn more, get involved and consider donating to Dogs2DogTags here. Help a veteran who can benefit from a service or companion dog and increase their quality of life.

Watch more episodes here or binge watch all episodes of Dogs2DogTags.

About Dogs2DogTags: Torre’s Story

The idea for Dogs2DogTags came to Torre Willadsen when he was deployed as a civilian contractor working with military dogs in 2012. During his time with the 7th Marines, he developed close bonds with dogs and dog handlers alike, and when dog handler Chris Van Etten was wounded, Torre worked hard to help keep Chris and his dog Harley together during Chris’ recovery. Torre suspected—and then saw firsthand—the profound effect a canine companion could have on a wounded man’s frame of mind at a difficult time. And that’s when Torre knew that he wanted to bring that kind of unconditional support to those back home struggling with post-traumatic stress.