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Washington Commanders announce team dog, Barney, in partnership with Warrior Canine Connection

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LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va., June 4, 2024 – Today, the Washington Commanders announced the newest addition to the 2024 roster, Team Dog Barney, an 11-week-old black Labrador Retriever from Warrior Canine Connection (WCC). A nonprofit based in Boyds, Maryland, WCC breeds, trains and places highly skilled service dogs with Service Members and Veterans who have sustained physical and psychological wounds while in service to our country. Barney's arrival marks the beginning of the Commanders' partnership with WCC.

"The Commanders are proud to support the country's largest community of active-duty military personnel, veterans, retirees, and their families." said Commanders President Jason Wright. "We are honored to partner with the Warrior Canine Connection in our efforts to give back to those in the DMV who have bravely served our nation."

All WCC's service dogs in training are named in honor of veterans, both past and present. The Washington Commanders named Barney in honor of Colonel Harvey Curtiss "Barney" Barnum Jr., a retired United States Marine Corps officer who received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Vietnam War.

"Colonel Barnum exhibited true dedication to service throughout his career and into his retirement." said veteran and Washington Salute Lead, Chris Bailey. "We're proud to have the opportunity to honor him for his heroic actions and continued commitment to the community."

Barney will spend approximately two years in training, where he will learn to support the veteran he is paired with after his training is complete. This includes WCC's Mission Based Trauma Recovery (MBTR) training program, which helps veterans with increased impulse control, sleep and emotional regulation, as well as decreased levels of stress, depression and hypervigilance. During his training, Barney will impact the lives of up to 60 Veterans.

The team has made the most of free agency this off season and the addition of Barney as Wide Retriever is no exception. As Barney goes through training, he will make various guest appearances at Commanders' games, where he will meet fans and participate in various community events. Throughout the season, the Washington Commanders Foundation will help cover Barney's training expenses to ensure he fulfills his dream of becoming a life-changing companion for a worthy veteran.

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