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Brothers and Sisters Team

Board Members

Rick Bulcak


"My name is Richard "Rick" Bulcak. I retired from the US Army in 2012 after 28 years of service, as both Military Police and Military Intelligence. I started with Brothers and Sisters in Arms in 2014 after my wife was turned down for assistance by Wounded Warriors due to her not being a Post Gulf War Vet. The organization not only assisted my wife but also kept her in my life. I have worked with the organization training dogs ever since, my way of paying it forward as it were. I have assisted in the training of many dogs that have become Service Dogs for Veterans, Active Duty members or Family members of Veteran.

AKC CGC Evaluator

James Rundberg

Vice President


James is a Purple Heart Army Veteran who has a service dog through our Organization. He was introduced to the organization through his speech therapist, a co-founder, and his now wife who was the Program Director and Lead Dog Trainer for many years with the organization.

Karol Dawley

Treasurer and Event Coordinator

Karol is a Veteran of the United States Air Force during the Vietnam Era. She was introduced to the program 4 years ago, after retiring from Civil Service Office for the US Army after 38 years of continued service. Karol approached the program in need of service dog. She then met Koda, her medical alert dog. The Dawley Team has since then graduated and she become active in helping the organization gain donations and coordinating all the events for the organization. She is the lady with the Plan!

Deb Cawley

Program Director/Lead Dog Trainer

Deb has been active in dogs and training all her life. In 1986 when she was stationed in Kansas with her husband she became interested in competitive Obedience and Herding. She apprenticed under a NADOI instructor. She has worked in obedience, conformation, herding, therapy and service dogs. She started breeding and showing Papillons in 1992. She has served on committees as well as on the Board of the Papillon Club of America. In 2008 she began working with the Russian Toy. She is currently President of the Russian Toy Club of America.

Deb began training both individual and group obedience classes in 1989. She has also worked with local rescues in Louisiana, at one time running foster care and the hot line for the local humane society which covered two parishes (counties) as well has worked rescue with breed clubs.

AKC CGC Evaluator

NADOI Certified Trainer #1134

Amara Heaton

Secretary/Dog Trainer

Amara is the daughter of a Veteran and grew up training dogs. She began showing dogs at the age of five and has worked with and is knowledgeable with many different breeds. 

Earl Rhodes

Earl is a Veteran who is a graduate of Brothers and Sisters In Arms Dog Training.

Lola Rhodes

Lola has gone through our ShadowTrainer program and is a trainer as well as Asst Treasurer. She has been training dogs for several years.

Jim Josker

Jim is a Navy Veteran who went through our Shadow Trainer Program and is going through our Service Dog Program. He is our liaison for Eastern Star and Angola State Prison.

  • Head Dog Trainers in other areas:

Lola Rhodes     Mansura, LA

Co-Founders and Past Board Members

Robbie Whittaker

Robbie H. Whittaker was a proud graduate and loyal fan of Louisiana State University, where she earned her Master's Degree in Speech and Language Pathology in 1982. She worked for the East Baton Rouge School Board for 11 years, until she decided to pursue her dream of owning her own business and living on Toledo Bend Lake. She moved to Florine, La in 1993 and began her life's work of servicing the military community of Fort Polk for over 20 years as the founder and operator of Speech and Language Consulting Services, Inc. in Leesville. Robbie's favorite color was purple. Robbie had a passion for helping children, active service men and women, and our country's veterans. She loved animals and began using her own dogs as therapy in her practice when she recognized what a positive experience the dogs made for her clients. The dogs and her veteran clients is what eventually lead her to being a founding board member for Brothers and Sisters in Arms Dog Training, Inc., a nonprofit that strives to improve the quality of life for active duty soldiers, military veterans, and their special needs dependents.

Phillip Ruddock

Phil was a co-founder of Brothers and Sisters In Arms Dog Training. While he is no longer a member, he is still a constant source of support for us. Please read his story below.

"For those of you that doubt the effects a Service Dog can have on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), let me tell you my story. I am a Desert Storm Veteran, what I did there is the demons I must face. I came back with all the classic symptoms, I drank all the time, I couldn't get along with anyone, I kept checking every room in the house to make sure it was clear every time I came home., I got up and checked the locks on the doors and windows too many times to count, I was always depressed and pissed at the world, and I never slept. I drove my family so crazy that they wanted to leave. I still do some of those things, but it's getting better. After the military, I worked for the Veterans Affairs Medical Center until about 2006 when my PTSD became so bad, I had a nervous breakdown. For the next three years I basically stayed on my couch. Seldom leaving my land except for a trip to town once or twice a month. This became my standard until a nice person named Brenda Wagner asked me to foster some dogs for her. There was one pit bull that was a lot like I was. Scared, avoided people, wanted to hide under a rock, and always on guard. I worked with this dog named Mia, and we became attached. She would ride with me where ever I went. I started to feel I had someone to watch my back again. That is one of the main things that is wrong when we come back, we go from knowing we have a whole group of soldiers watching our back to coming home and being alone. Mia became my "battle buddy" she would wake me up when I had nightmares, calm me down when I had an anxiety attack, watch my back at the counter at a store or the bank, even assure me when I had doubts. Mia was the constant in my life that PTSD took away. Everyone would leave for work or school but Mia was always there. After almost two years with Mia by my side, I can now travel some places on my own but she still comes with me on trips out of town. You can read all of the medical research for and against service dogs for PTSD, I am living proof that service Dogs work and they are necessary."~~Phil 2012


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