letters from a soldier

I've got a special treat for you guys today. Jaron was my soldier when I volunteered with an organization called Soldier's Angels. I gained as much from our friendship as he has and I am truly honored to call him and his wife, Maggie friends....even though we haven't yet met in person. Please take time to read Jaron's story and check out the Clayton's dream of  Running Dogs Brewery, the brewery for Vets by Vets! Thank you Jaron for sharing your story with Almost Gypsy Soul! And I can't wait until you are up and running, I'll be headed West for a visit and a big tall beer!
Dear Almost Gypsy Soul Readers,

My name is Jaron Clayton and met Jennifer in 2008 in a letter received while in Iraq explaining that she was my Soldiers Angel. This surprised me to say the least I had no idea that there were people that would care enough to write a complete stranger asking what we needed and wanted while we were away from home. The care packages and letters in times of need when they meant more than words can describe will never be forgotten. She even made me a custom embroidered patriotic blanket out of jeans! I can't thank Jennifer enough for dedicating that year to being my Angel.

We have kept in touch throughout the years and since then I have honorably discharged from the Army. I have moved around the Pacific Northwest from Washington to Idaho to Oregon about 6 times moving up from job to job trying to find my calling. I now have my skilled nursing home administrator license and have the role of Executive Director at a small nursing home in St. Helens, OR. Though I very much enjoy making sure elderly and disabled individuals are cared for my, true passion is in brewing craft beer for others to enjoy.

I have brewed on and off for the past several years and would like to finally start a licensed nano brewery out of our place here in St. Helens. My goal if licensed to sell is to make sure I give back to Veterans like Jennifer has to me and others and donate 10% our profits and 50% of specialty beers. Jennifer has given once again to me to support my cause and I again can't thank her enough for the support. If you would like to support us as well, click below!


The story behind the name?
I had grown up with cats all my life and my wife(girlfriend at the time)had grown up with dogs. When I was in Iraq she decided she wanted to get a dog, I was needless to say a bit apprehensive to come home to a puppy. Of course I couldn't say no to her, and especially after I saw the cutest picture of a Italian greyhound puppy. I struggled the most adjusting to home life for the first year I was back, our Italian Greyhound boy Gianno was my comfort. A true man's best friend that was indescribable. He was really fast and loved to run as much as he loved the comfort of our laps and a warm fire to lay next to. 2 years later we decided to get a Hungarian Vizsla puppy, Winchester, with matched love of running as well as extreme love of our laps. These 2 were our kids and I wanted to show that love in my love of brewing. Our logo is a silhouette of those 2 playing with each other at a park.

Shortly after I had planned on taking our brewing further and making that logo, Gianno was attacked by another dog and did not make it. To date this has been the hardest thing I had ever gone through. Chester and my wife Maggie have been my comfort in getting through the pain as I tried to be their comfort with his loss as well. Eight months ago we were finally ready to accept another member to the crew and accepted a beautiful female Vizsla puppy into our family, her name is Annabelle or Annie for short. We are the The Running Dogs.

Thank you Jennifer for allowing me to write on your blog and keep on being the great person you are!

-Jaron Clayton

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