James “Jim” Stanek Jr.
Branch of Service: United States Army
Currently Residing In: Rio Rancho, NM
Through his efforts to help the people of his home state of New York during the 9/11 cleanup as a volunteer firefighter and ironworker, Jim was inspired to enlist in the U.S. Army. In 2003, he deployed with the 82nd Airborne Division, and in 2004, again with F CO 51st LRSC. In 2008, Jim deployed a third time with the 1st Infantry Division, the oldest division in the Army. However, he returned home early with injuries.
After six years and three deployments with the Army Jim found his career as a staff sergeant coming to a close much earlier than he had hoped. The Army began the process of medically retiring Jim for a multitude of injuries including chronic, severe PTSD and a traumatic brain injury to list a few.
Jim, and his then girlfriend Lindsey, transitioned to living on a ranch in Bandera, Texas, where Jim worked as a ranch hand and hunting guide. In 2010, they moved to Rio Rancho, N.M., were married, and founded Paws and Stripes.
He now serves as a mentor to new veterans and as a spokesman for the program, spreading their mission to many about the benefits of service dogs for veterans with injuries, service dog etiquette for businesses, and what Paws and Stripes is doing in the community. Today, Jim still resides in Rio Rancho with his wife and four dogs, and enjoys time with his son, Jimmy, being in the outdoors and swinging away on the golf course.