Patriot Paws founder receives Champion of Freedom award

"It's the power of dogs," explained Michael Lammey, a U.S. Navy veteran. Lammey and the newest member of his family, Stan, made the trip to Austin Thursday to support Patriot Paws.

The non-profit pairs veterans with service dogs at no cost to the veteran. Lammey and Stan picked each other during graduation four months ago. While deployed in 2006 Lammey was injured during a boiler explosion on a ship near Guam.

"It's pretty much changed how I do everything. If I go out people stare at me but now that I have Stan I get more looks because of him instead of the other looks I used to get," said Lammey.

Lammey joined Lori Stevens as the Texas Federation of Women honored her work with the non-profit.

"I think it's great to honor Lori and all the work with her dedication to the dogs and service members we wouldn't be here," added Lammey.

"You are our Champion of Freedom. God Bless you Lori," explained a member of TFRW as the crowd clapped.

"To hear and see Michael out in public and enjoying it makes us all smile," explained Stevens who founded Patriot Paws in 2006.

"She's providing freedom to veterans who have sacrificed so much. It ties in so well with our desire to give back to those who have done so much for us," said Theresa Kosmoski with TFRW.

"I think it works. It does tons of good stuff for a lot of people and not just me but my family and friends. Stan benefits everyone around him," said Lammey.

As the luncheon wrapped up the push to donate to the cause was made. Jazz, Steven's dog, gladly picked up and delivered donations from different tables.

There are more than 100 veterans on the waiting list which will take three to four years to get through.

"With the amount of veterans on the list the need never ends so our work shouldn't," explained Kosmoski.

Steven's mission? To help those who have selflessly served one paw at a time.

"You met Michael and Stan and that's what it is all about," said Stevens.

TFRW has raised enough money to cover the cost of two dogs and is working on a third.

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