Two Veterans and How YOU Helped
Posted on April 04 2016
Austin Dog Alliance just recently placed two PTSD service dogs with veterans in a "changing of the vest" ceremony. I attended the event and just wanted to share it with everyone to see how their shirt purchases and donations have impacted the lives of people in their community. This was the first time two dogs were given at the same time. It was an awesome experience.
Tucker was paired with an older veteran. He served as a Navy corpsman attached to a Marine unit. For those of you who don't know, these guys were the elite of the medic class. They had one of the hardest jobs and more advanced training. His wife is actually the person that told me the most about his PTSD. She told me that he recently just went to the grocery store by himself. Normally he doesnt do that nor would he be gone very long. A couple hours went by and she began to worry. But he came home safe and sound with Tucker at his side. For the first time in years, she was able to actually leave him at the house and go have a date with her girlfriends. But the most alarming thing she said was "he actually had a reason to get up in the morning". Every time I hear that, I almost tear up. I know how that feels. I have been there myself. And for something to add purpose to your life is priceless.
Muse was paired with an Army veteran who basically served the needs of his unit. From truck drive to 50 cal gunner, he served two tours. One in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. He reminded me of how for I had come. His social anxiety even with a fellow brother in arms was pretty high. But he kept close to Muse and she helped him stay calm. Though he had a wife who was very supportive, Muse seemed to put him in a state that was unobtainable through human relations. He told me that he was excited to start taking less and less medication. And that it what really hit me, freedom.
These dogs gave them freedom. They gave them the ability to leaves the shadows of the dark corner they hid in or relinquish themselves from the draw of medication. They gave them an independence they once had. Most importantly, those dogs gave them hope.
Watch the ceremony below.