Lashada was born and raised in Houston. At 22, she was accepted into the Army ROTC and received a two-year college scholarship. For the next 13 years, she proudly served her country, deploying to Africa, Korea and Iraq.
Of all the places Lashada deployed, she’ll tell you Iraq was the most rewarding. In 2009, she spent a year working there as a military intelligence officer and was one of only 10 women serving in her division. Lashada deployed with the 1st Cavalry, and she says she’s proud of the work she and her fellow soldiers performed gathering intelligence.
Lashada received many awards and campaign medals for her service, including the Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Overseas Service Ribbon, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal and Korean Defense Service Medal.
Retiring as a major, she began her transition to civilian life and, like many veterans, found it far more difficult than she anticipated. While trying to reintegrate into the workforce, she lost her first job but has now found a fit with the U.S. General Accounting Office.
During this transition, Lashada was also about to be an empty-nester, with her son leaving soon for college. Already feeling the loss of her life in the military and anticipating the absence of her son, Lashada applied for a Paws for Heroes dog after hearing about the group from Lone Star Veterans Association and The Mission Continues.
And then Rocky came along.
Rocky was an abandoned dog found by Paws for Heroes’ foster Michelle Cote in Alvin, Texas. Dirty and malnourished, the matted little fur ball had been hanging out by a feed store for days when Michelle found him. He jumped up into her car, and right away she knew he was meant to have a bigger purpose in life.
After nursing the little guy back to health, Michelle noticed he had an amazingly sweet personality, and she contacted Paws for Heroes to see if they were looking for any dogs.
“He weighs 12 pounds but has a HUGE personality,” she told Paws for Heroes.
When they evaluated him, they knew he was the perfect match for Lashada. The two were matched on Veterans Day. And ever since, Lashada has been texting and sending videos of all the fun she and Rocky are having together.
“Rocky is like having a best friend around all of the time who is up for doing whatever I want to do, whether that’s napping, watching football or going for a walk. He’s awesome!”
Lashada said the best parts of receiving a dog from Paws for Heroes was all of the information they provided, their willingness to answer any and all questions and their help every step of the way after Rocky was placed with her. Lashada said she received more than just a dog from Paws for Heroes; she received an extended family.
Welcome to the family, Lashada and Rocky.