Wolves & Warriors: Cottage Grove vet featured on cable show thinks it could help others
COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. -- A local veteran was featured on the Animal Planet show Wolves and Warriors, and he believes veterans in Oregon would benefit from an experience similar to the one he got on the show.
Air National Guard veteran Jeremy Lucier got the opportunity to work with other veterans rescuing wolves, and he says while working with these animals was intimidating at first, it would ultimately be a life changing experience.
Wolves hold a special place in Lucier's heart. "Wolves, for us, they're warriors; we've served. We're warriors."
The current Cottage Grove local served with the Air National Guard from 1990 to 2004.
"I traveled all over the world," he said. "It was great."
After his time with the Guard, his love of the outdoors brought him to Oregon and eventually he found himself in California to work with wolves at the Lockwood Animal Rescue Center.
"Was I scared at first? Of course; I mean, they're large animals."
Lucier found himself working with a group of veterans with different backgrounds and from all over the world.
"I didn't know any other veteran there, but as soon as we were together, it was like family."
Lucier took part in a mission to rescue the grey wolf - an animal protected under the Endangered Species Act from illegal breeders.
It was featured on the Animal Planet show Wolves and Warriors.
"Take these animals...rather than them continue to be abused, continue to be bred, and then euthanized just to sell pelts."
The animals weren't the only ones being rescued.
"Here, you have an animal that's been through trauma; you have veterans who have been through trauma and they get to heal together."
His experiences at Lockwood brought him to advocate for alternative forms of therapy to benefit veterans in his own area.
"They shouldn't have to wait months to get that care."
Lucier says he hopes to get involved in Camp Alma, a Veteran's Legacy Oregon camp that would focus on agricultural work as therapy.
"I'll always advocate for veterans; I'll always advocate for animals."
For Lucier, it's healing that comes in different shapes, sizes and species.
There is currently a bill in the senate that would remove federal protections for the grey wolf.
It was passed by the House, but the Senate referred it to the Committee on Environment and Public Works