Former Captain Luis Carlos Montalvan and his dog Tuesday visited Colorado for a special reading from his book, Tuesday Tucks Me In. This book signing event was created for children 10 and under who have a veteran in their life. The first fifty military families who attended were welcomed with a free book by author, Luis Montalvan.
Luis Carlos Montalvan is a seventeen-year Army Veteran. He served multiple combat tours in Iraq. His decorations for service due to his time in Iraq include 2 Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal for Valor, and the Combat Action Badge. Besides his military recognition, Luis Montalvan has received other citations including the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.
Luis Montalvan’s many years of military service brought changes to his life. Due to the challenges of PTSD, physical wounds, and traumatic brain injury, his life was different. Ordinary things scared him. Enter Tuesday, a smiling Golden Retriever service dog who soon became his best pal. Tuesday helped Luis navigate his daily life, one step at a time. Their routine includes Tuesday assisting Luis with his shoes, cane, and even with medicine reminders. Most of all, this tail wagging furry friend provides companionship.
Vietnam Veteran Richard Cox, WWII Veteran William Taylor & Iraq Veteran Luis Carlos Montalvan. Mr. Montalvan is a leader. His own personal journey lead him not to retreat, but to re-direct his life. He became an advocate for service members and veterans with disabilities. Regardless of his audience age, Luis’s positive attitude concerning his physical challenges puts everyone at ease. His funny and gentle manner with the children during his read-out-loud presentation, was heartwarming. Tuesday was also a big hit, and his hugs were appreciated.
Robert & Nancy Waples. Luis, a New York Times bestselling author, not only educates the public on living with disabilities, he offers hope. In 2011, he received the Invisible Hero Honors Award. Whether behind the scene or touring to share his message, this hero is a testament of strength.
In Tuesday Tucks Me In, he acknowledges his nightmares and flashbacks. He gives credit to his best friend Tuesday for calming him down. Lack of balance is another issue Luis shares with his readers. Once again, his companion dog helps by wearing a special harness with a handle for navigating steps. Every week, when visiting the VA hospital, Luis shares Tuesday with other veterans.
We thank you, Captain Luis, for sharing your time and experiences with all of us. The message in your books bring disability awareness to the forefront. We wish you continued success and healing with your service dog, Tuesday. www.tuesdaytucksmein.com Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities: “Our Mission is to enable people with disabilities to gain greater independence and mobility through the use of specially educated dogs.” www.ecad1.org
Haley Martinez, and Claire Shelden from sponsor, Jefferson Center for Mental Health. “Jefferson Center serves more than 19,000 people each year through mental health and substance use treatment, care coordination prevention and wellness programs. We are experts in treating people with serious mental illness and have specialized programs for veterans, children and families, victims of trauma and seniors. The Center also offers Mental Health First Aid classes for the community.” Call (303)425-0300. Website www.jcmh.org. SUICIDE PREVENTION HOTLINE 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Vietnam Veterans of America-Denver Chapter 1071 also sponsored this family event. “Never again shall one generation of Veterans abandon another.” www.vva1071.org It was held at Elks Lodge 1777. www.lakewoodelks.com Jimmy Johns donated food for all who attended.