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Stephen And Ollie: How A Shelter Dog Helped An Army Vet Discover The Outdoors

Being in the military is, by nature, an outdoorsy occupation, but Stephen Martin’s time in the service was more of a “forced outdoor experience.”

“I was a bit lost when finishing up high school,” says the Dallas, Texas native. “Some hard times had left me longing for a get-out-of-dodge, momentous occasion. That just somehow wound up being the military.”

Martin was the first member of his family to sign up for the service, a whiplash decision he made after meeting with a recruitment officer. “I shit you not, three weeks later I was off to boot camp,” remembers Stephen, who would go on to spend eight years in the Army. “If you think I didn’t have immediate ‘ugh, I made a mistake’ notions, you’d be wrong. But I stuck with it, and realized it was something I was really good at. Discipline, responsibility, honor…all of it gave me such a sense of purpose.”

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