How Does K-9s for Warriors Support Veterans?

How Does K-9s for Warriors Support Veterans?

Affirm CollaboratorDecember 02, 2019

For soldiers returning from the battlefield, the fight doesn’t stop once they get home. Trying to transition from war’s chaos and the military’s structure to a quiet life is not easy for every veteran. Years of training are not easily turned off and forgotten. For many, adjusting to civilian life and coping with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are even bigger battles. Fortunately, there are veteran support groups, such as K-9s for Warriors, willing to help and provide resources for veterans in a post-9/11 world.

About K-9s for Warriors

K-9s for Warriors was founded in 2011 near Jacksonville, FL, by the parents of a veteran K-9 police officer. Their son returned home after two tours in Iraq, and they could see he was suffering from PTSD; more than anything, they wanted to help. Knowing his love for dogs, they searched for groups that offered canine assistance for PTSD. In the end, they started their own non-profit support group. Today, it is the largest veteran service organization that provides highly-trained service dogs to post-9/11, disabled veterans. The support group’s number one objective is to prevent suicidal ideation and attempts among veterans suffering from PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Military Sexual Trauma.

How does K-9s for Warriors Support Veterans?

K-9s for Warriors is a non-profit organization that pairs rescue dogs with veterans to help them reintegrate into society and cope with PTSD. They do this at no cost to the warriors in the program, so they can restore their physical and emotional independence. The focus is on the veteran’s healing and recovery, as well as the canine’s. The veteran and dog build a bond and heal each other through training and companionship. As the healing begins, the reintegration also starts. After completing the three-week program, the veterans will have gained the emotional strength to repair their relationship with themselves, their family, and their friends.

Almost 90 percent of the dogs used in the program are rescue dogs saved from shelters or owner donated. The dogs are given a new lease on life just as the veteran is, so in the end, two lives are saved. The program has expanded thanks to a generous donation of land and buildings. They now have two campuses to serve wounded veterans. During training, veterans can stay on the campus during the entire three-week program and heal with their fellow veterans, building friendships that can last a lifetime.

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