Coast Guard Auxiliarist Dittman

Robert in his dress uniform, hugs his new bride, Kirstiana. She's wearing a royal blue gown. Robert's black Lab, Jackson, is beside him, wearing a bow tie and tuxedo cuffs on his front paws.

Robert Dittman is an attorney, Coast Guard Auxiliarist, musician, and graduate of The Seeing Eye. In his limited free time, he constantly seeks adventure by sky diving, bungee jumping and water skiing. He’s the first blind person to complete a military boot camp program and serve on a Coast Guard ship.

Robert’s personal motto is “Don’t let life get you down.” He believes that he can get through anything life throws at him when he has his Seeing Eye dog by his side.

He was matched with his first Seeing Eye dog, a Labrador retriever/golden retriever cross named Harriet, in 1996; he was matched with Snickers, a chocolate Labrador retriever, in 2007. Jackson, a Black Labrador retriever entered his life in 2013 and went with him during an assignment to headquarters US Coast Guard in Washington D.C., as well as traveled with him back overseas to the United Kingdom and sat with him countless times in the court room.  He was also present when he married Kirstiana (Welch) Dittman in 2020.  Not even a global pandemic is an obstacle for this wonderful Seeing Eye team!

Now, as Robert begins the next chapter in his life, he has been matched with Hillton, another Black labrador retriever who is quiet and reserved but highly motivated and loyal and together they embrace the next chapter of honor, respect, and devotion to duty that the United States Coast Guard places before them. Of note, Auxiliarist Dittman was awarded the U.S. Department of Transportation “911” ribbon for services set forth in the following citation:

"For extraordinary service to the citizens of the United States in the wake of the horrific terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, DC. Quickly rising to the challenges posed by both recovery from the attacks and the need for significantly increased security throughout the many modes of the transportation system, these men and women made their mark in history with acts of dedication and professionalism that had a significant impact on millions of citizens through the entire transportation infrastructure. Virtually overnight, Department of Transportation employees and others augmented command centers, vessel traffic service centers and other important command posts around the country. Security forces were rapidly augmented to reduce the vulnerability of America's airports, harbors, borders and transportation systems. In addition, they contributed to the coordinated distribution of critical relief supplies, emergency personnel and equipment, helping speed the recovery efforts in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C. Their dedication, pride and professionalism are in keeping with the highest traditions of patriotism and are appreciated by a grateful Nation."


Secretary of Transportation