A special farm in Verona is saving horses and military heroes at the same time.

William 'Sarge' Moonen is a Marine Veteran who spends his days at Silent Hooves Farm in Verona as part of the Hooves For Heroes program. A program that helped save Sarge and his new buddy Bandit. "We recently had Bandit donated to our program about week before Sarge came to the farm," says owner Alexis Peters. "Bandit was nervous around men and really didn’t like his face being touched but took to Sarge almost instantly."

Photo Credit: Alexis Peters/TSM

Sarge and Bandit started to bond, getting closer each day. "To watch them work together, it was like the two of them were dancing. Bandit did everything Sarge asked of him and Sarge never forgot to praise him for his good work."

Photo Credit: Alexis Peters/TSM

It's hard to say who saved who. Sarge and Bandit saved each other, forming a long lasting friendship; something you only hear about in story books. "It’s beautiful to watch them together. They completely understand one another without words needing to be spoken."

Photo Credit: Alexis Peters/TSM

Sarge is at Silent Hooves Farm sometimes 2-3 times a day to not only see Bandit but also to help with chores and being a side walker for one of the special needs clients at the farm. "He’s almost like a Grandpa figure here at the farm. Everyone loves to hear about his military career. We spend many mornings sitting drinking coffee and listening to old military stories."

Photo Credit: Alexis Peters/TSM

From animals to children, everyone loves Sarge and his tales. "My two children have taken to him and they enjoy the funny stories he’s shares or the picture of his dogs he shows them."

Photo Credit: Alexis Peters/TSM

Sarge celebrated his birthday on Sunday August 19th. "He turned 77 and you'd never know it. He runs circles around me and at times I have to remind him to take breaks."

For his birthday, Sarge was given a special gift - a free lifetime lease on Bandit. You can watch the birthday surprise in the video above. "It makes my heart happy that Bandit found his human and Sarge has found his safe haven."

Photo Credit: Alexis Peters/TSM

Silent Hooves Farm was just a dream for Alexis Peters and Scott Kullman, until 3 months ago when they turned it into a reality. To learn more about the Farm and the Hooves for Heroes program, a program that is free to veterans, active duty members, COs and law enforcement, visit Silent Hooves Farm on Facebook.

Sarge & Bandit