We are so honored to introduce future service dog, Lavsky from Leashes of Valor (LOV)! This beautiful pup is named in honor of U.S. Army Special Forces Captain Michael Y. Tarlavsky, who was killed in combat while serving with the 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on August 12th, 2004.
Captain Tarlavsky was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his courage, fearlessness and devotion to duty. Captain Tarlavsky also served in Operation ANACONDA in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM – Afghanistan. Tarlavsky and his family immigrated to the United States from Latvia when he was 5 years old, and he always dreamed of becoming a soldier. He attended Rutgers University on a ROTC scholarship and joined the Army on active duty in 1996 as a commissioned Infantry officer.
“He was very smart, very driven. He always had goals. He wanted to be the very best and he proved that by becoming an Army Green Beret,” said retired Lt. Col. John Holevas, who went to college with Tarlavsky. “He was also an incredible athlete.” In fact, when he provided security for the Atlanta Olympics, most people thought he was there to compete!
“He had aspirations of doing more in the military. Unfortunately, it didn’t come to pass,” Holevas said. Tarlavsky, just 30 when he died, left behind his wife, Tricia, and a 10-month old son. “He loved his wife and was so proud of his son. He couldn’t wait for me to meet them.”
A generous donation from The Patriot Fund, Inc. will cover all costs associated with service dog Lavsky’s two years of training. After that, Lavsky will be paired with a wounded or disabled post-9/11 Veteran. It’s our privilege to name this four-legged lifesaver for real-life hero Tarlavsky!
To learn more about Leashes of Valor, click the link HERE.