NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — If you're looking to support active duty service members, there's something you may not have known is an option. It involves taking care of some of the most important parts of a service member's life.
At the Gallatin Petsense, bulldog Sugar walked the aisles like she owned the place.
"She does what she wants to do, and you hope it aligns with what you want to do, which is not always the case," laughed Becky Martino. "She's the most unusual dog I think I've ever had."
Sugar's been with Martino for over a year, and will stay well into 2023. It's a pretty long time for a visit. Sugar is the dog of an active duty service member at Fort Campbell. When he needed to deploy for two years, he didn't know what to do about Sugar.
"I said, 'I don't care if it's one day or 10 years, it doesn't matter to me. I want to help you,'" Martino remembered.
That Fort Campbell service member found Becky through the Dogs on Deployment nonprofit.
"Dogs on Deployment is an organization that allows you to foster dogs or cats and sometimes other animals for a military member who is going to be deployed and has no family or friends who is willing to keep the animal," she explained.
The Tractor Supply Foundation has given grants to the organization for years that go toward things like food and vet bills.
"We're helping them in taking care of who they love while they are deployed overseas," said Marti Skold-Jordan of the Tractor Supply Foundation.
As for Martino, there's a deeper reason she wanted to take Sugar.
"I served in the United States Air Force from 1993 to 2000," she said.
Back then, when she got orders to go overseas, she had to tell her children they were finding their dogs new homes.
"Very difficult for our children, 10 and 13," Martino said. "What do you mean I have to give my dog away, and I'll never see it again?"
This is a way Martino can help those in active duty, and Sugar's person, that Fort Campbell service member, thinks the world of Becky doing this.
"She's so wonderful," the service member said in a FaceTime call with Martino. "I couldn't ask for a better fur baby set of parents. Such a wonderful person, her and her husband."
"Honestly, I didn't know what I was gonna do because we didn't have an option to take her, so I started researching options, and that's when I found Dogs on Deployment," the service member continued.
"I think a lot of people would do this if they had the opportunity," said Martino. "Everybody wants to support the troops, but what can you really do other than put a bumper sticker on the car? This is a way I can support our troops in a real way that I know is very meaningful to them, and it's meaningful to me too to know I can do it and fall in love with a dog."
For more on Dogs on Deployment, visit here.
This story was originally reported by Forrest Sanders on newschannel5.com.