The Bark Brew & Tattoo 2018 event was held in honorable memory of Corporal Rory S. Ready, USMC (Ret.) who died on March 29, 2017, from delayed effects of his combat-related injuries. Enlisted in 2007, Rory served two tours in Afghanistan as an infantryman with 1st Battalion, 6th Marines and was awarded, among other honors, the Combat Action Ribbon. He fought in the battle of Marjah, cleared IEDs, and trained Afghan National Army and Police elements as part of OEF counterinsurgency operations. Medically retired from the Marines in 2014, Rory battled mental health issues including PTSD but dedicated himself to helping his fellow veterans survive these issues that too often interfere with wounded warriors’ successful reintegration into civilian life. Rory actively involved himself in veterans’ suicide prevention groups and was extremely passionate about this cause. His career was featured in the 2016 National Geographic book, “Veterans Voices: Remarkable Stories of Heroism, Sacrifice, and Honor.” Rory was a devoted father, a loving husband, a loyal son, and brother, a caring veteran and friend to many. He left this world too soon.
Corporal Ready understood the healing power of dogs. He trained them for fellow veterans and had a dog of his own. News station WUSA9 of Germantown, MD covered a story about Ready’s work with the Warrior Canine Connection. The facility he helped to build was a center where he was able to train more service dogs to help disabled veterans. During his last months, he was working to expand his service dog training business to include partnerships with Johns Hopkins Hospital and other persons and organizations across the country. After his passing, his family honored his work with dogs by establishing the Rory S. Ready Memorial Fund within the NEADS Service Dogs for Veterans (formerly Canines for Combat Veterans) program which is designed to help the growing population of veterans who could benefit from canine assistance.