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Warrior Bound

TV journalist Andrea McCarren’s biggest assignment is yellow, headstrong and soon to become an American patriot’s best friend.

DOG DAYS
Andrea McCarren in the Channel 9 studio with Bunce, named after Marine Cpl. Justin Bunce, who was injured in 2004 by a IED in Iraq

Veteran reporter Andrea McCarren says a yellow puppy named Bunce has changed her life profoundly, and for good reason: She’s training the Labrador for Warrior Canine Connection. In 2017, he should become a wounded warrior’s service dog. At eight months, Bunce goes with McCarren everywhere—to Capitol Hill, the Pentagon and even the Emmys. McCarren, a multimedia journalist at Channel 9, has won 20 Emmys and three Edward R. Murrow Awards. But working with Bunce has been an entirely new challenge.

“I get upset on behalf of disabled people or wounded warriors if the Metro escalator doesn’t work or the disabled-door opener is broken,” says McCarren. “My role is to show Bunce the world for someone who will have a harder time navigating it.”

McCarren posts text, videos and photos of Bunce online. When she writes about the president, she gets 6,000 page views. Writing about Bunce (in his voice) brings more than 500,000. This month, he’s in the Warrior Canine Connection’s 2016 fundraising calendar ($20), with all of the proceeds going to the organization. The Vassar grad finds educating her puppy rejuvenating, personally and professionally. “Bunce is a window into what life is like for our wounded warriors,” she says.

MCCARREN’S HOTS
Any business friendly to a service dog in training, hiking at Great Falls, the beauty and serenity of Arlington National Cemetery, coffee, Washington sports teams

MCCARREN’S NOTS
Road rage, negative people, kale, cellphone users in restaurants, snowstorm panic