A service dog was best man at a veteran's wedding last year, and the photos are the best.

He was the obvious choice.

When veteran Justin Lansford was planning his wedding in October 2015, he selected a highly unusual best man — his service dog Gabe.

Carol, Justin, and Gabe Lansford. Photo by Brad Hall Studios, used with permission.


Justin and Gabe met in 2013 through the Warrior Canine Connection, a group that hires veterans to train service dogs for their fellow veterans with disabilities. Justin, who had his left leg amputated after an IED attack in Afghanistan, was paired with Gabe largely for mobility assistance.

But according to Gabe's wife, Carol Lansford, it's been nothing but love between all three of them ever since.

Once Carol and Justin decided to get married, there was very little doubt that Gabe would be a big part of the wedding.

Carol, Justin, and Gabe Lansford walking down the aisle. Photo by Brad Hall Studios, used with permission.

"We were figuring out wedding details and one of us just mentioned, 'We have to figure out what Gabe is going to wear,'" Carol told Upworthy.

In addition to helping Justin move steadily and fetching objects that are out of his reach, Gabe also provides invaluable emotional support for his dog dad.

Photo by Brad Hall Studios, used with permission.

"It's hard to be mad or nervous when you have this great smiling face that just wants to lick you," Carol said.

Although research is ongoing to determine whether support animals clinically benefit those still recovering from the mental stress of combat, dogs can still be a vital part of the healing process. And Gabe is no exception.

"If anything [starts to feel] uncomfortable, he's there to make sure it's going to be OK."

Carol was behind a door when Justin and Gabe made their entrance, but she later found out just how completely adorable it was.

Carol and Gabe. Photo by Brad Hall Studios, used with permission.

"I heard that everybody just instantly went, 'Awwww,' and then every cell phone in the place came out to try to get pictures of them," Carol said.

And Gabe may have been enjoying it most of all.

"He loves attention, and he will do anything for attention…" Carol said. "I know he was just in his glory."

Congratulations, Justin, Carol, and Gabe!


Carol, Justin, and Gabe, before the wedding. Photo by Brad Hall Studios, used with permission.

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Someday, future Americans will look back on this era of school shootings in bafflement and disbelief—not only over the fact that it happened, but over how long it took us to enact significant legislation to try to stop it.

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Don't test on animals. That's something we can all agree on, right? No one likes to think of defenseless cats, dogs, hamsters, and birds being exposed to a bunch of things that could make them sick (and the animals aren't happy about it, either). It's no wonder so many people and organizations have fought to stop it. But did you ever think that maybe brands are testing products on us too, they're just not telling us they're doing it?

I know, I know, it sounds like a conspiracy theory, but that's exactly what e-cigarette brands like JUUL (which corners the e-cigarette market) are doing in this country right now, and young people are on the frontlines of the fallout. Most people assume that the government would have looked at devices that allow people to inhale unknown chemicals into their lungs BEFORE they hit the market. You would think that someone in the government would have determined that they are safe. But nope, that hasn't happened. And vape companies are fighting to delay the government's ability to evaluate these products.

So no one really knows the long-term health effects of e-cigarette use, not even JUUL's CEO, nor are they informing the public about the potential risks. On top of that, according to the FDA, there's been a 78% increase in e-cigarette usage among high school and middle school-aged children in just the last two years, prompting the U.S. Surgeon General to officially recognize the trend as an epidemic and urge action against it.

These facts have elicited others to take action, as well.

Truth Initiative, the nonprofit best known for dropping the real facts about smoking and vaping since 2000 through its truth campaign, is now on a mission to confront e-cigarette brands like JUUL about the lack of care they've taken to inform consumers of the potential adverse side effects of their products. And they're doing it with the help of animal protesters who are tired of seeing humans treated like test subjects.

The March Against JUUL | Tested On Humans | truth www.youtube.com

"No one knows the long-term effects of JUULing so any human who uses one is being used as a lab rat," says, appropriately, Mario the Sewer Rat.

"I will never stop fighting JUUL. Or the mailman," notes Doug the Pug, the Instagram-famous dog star.

Truth, the national counter-marketing campaign for youth smoking prevention, hopes this fuzzy, squeaky, snorty animal movement arms humans with the facts about vaping and inspires them to demand transparency from JUUL and other e-cigarette companies. You can get your own fur babies involved too by sharing photos of them wearing protest gear with the hashtag #DontTestOnHumans. Here's some adorable inspo for you:

The dangerous stuff is already out there, but with knowledge on their side, young people will hopefully make the right choices and fight companies making the wrong ones. If you need more convincing, here are the serious facts.

Over the last decade, 127 e-cigarette-related seizures were reported, which prompted the FDA to launch an official investigation in April 2019. Since then, over 215 cases of a new, severe lung illness have sprung up all over the country, with six deaths to date. While scientists aren't yet sure of the root cause, the majority of victims were young adults who regularly vaped and used e-cigarettes. As such, the CDC has launched an official investigation into the potential link.

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Photo by Lindsay Fox/Pixabay

Consumers have a right to know what they're putting in their bodies. If everyone (and their pets) speaks up, the e-cigarette industry will have to make a change. Young people are already taking action across the country. They're hosting rallies nationwide and on October 9 as part of a National Day of Action, young people are urging their friends and classmates to "Ditch JUUL." Will you join them?

For help with quitting e-cigarettes, visit thetruth.com/quit or text DITCHJUUL to 88709 for free, anonymous resources.

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