Below is a great article about a program at the Wounded Warrior Battalion West – Detachment Hawaii where wounded warriors participate in helping train service dogs. I’m really happy to see more of these programs being implemented and expanding to other medical facilities to help our warriors as they go through the recovery process. I am a huge supporter of these programs as I had the privilege of watching how much warriors benefit from them after having worked at the WWBn – Detachment San Diego Naval Medical Center. It doesn’t take a doctor to tell you interacting with a dog can improve your morale. Thank you Hawaii Fi-Do for supporting our troops!!
Lance Cpl. Joshua Jablon has nightmares from time to time.
Fortunately, he has a new friend he can count on to wake him and offer him comfort when necessary. Through Hawaii Fi-Do, wounded warriors like Jablon are learning to heal, with some canine care.
Since July 15, Marines of Wounded Warrior Battalion West — Detachment Hawaii have been working with specially trained dogs from the local nonprofit organization in an effort to help the mental and emotional healing process for the warriors.
During the six-week program, wounded service members interact
and train with dogs for up to two hours. On average, about six to eight participants come to each session, and as many as 16 can come at a time. The service member must receive a referral from a mental healthcare professional to be eligible for the program.
What an incredible story behind an incredible organization. One of the grimm realities of war are the psychological issues veterans face when they come home. Dave Sharpe is one of those veterans and almost let PTSD get the best of him by holding a loaded gun in his mouth and was ready to pull the trigger when his 6 month old pit bull named Cheyenne came to his rescue. Dave refrained from pulling the trigger and has since put his energy into helping other veterans dealing with PTSD by providing pets through his organization called Pets 2 Vets. Read and watch the full story below.
For too many veterans, the battles don’t end when they come home from war. Combat stress has no easy cure. But one vet found peace was a lot closer than he thought and now he’s helping others find it, too. CBS News correspondent Chip Reid has his story.
Dave Sharpe calls his pit bull Cheyenne his savior, and that’s no exaggeration. When she was just a puppy, she saved his life
Sharpe served with the U.S. Air Force security forces in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. After two near-death experiences, he returned home with severe post-traumatic stress disorder.
“Before I met her, I was a wreck,” said Sharpe. “I was out of control, I would start fights for no reason.”
Deeply depressed and filled with rage, he decided to end his misery with his pistol.
“[I] cocked it back, put it right in my mouth and I sat there and cried for about a minute or two,” Sharpe recalled. “I was this close to pulling the trigger.”
That’s when Cheyenne, who was then six months old, came to his rescue.
A great story about a great organization called Helping Hounds located in Pennsylvania. Most of the breeds being used as service dogs and therapy dogs have been Labradors and Retrievers, it’s great to see an English Springer Spaniel being used. To make it even better, it is a rescue dog. Great job by Helping Hounds, please read and share stories like these to help spread the great work rescue dogs can be in helping our veterans!
Service dog ‘saved life’ of Mechanicsburg veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder
When Douglas Maugans is plagued by nightmares of war, he can always count on Tanner to wake him up.
The 5-year-old English springer spaniel presses the touch pad on Maugans’ nightstand with his nose to turn the light on, gets up on his master’s chest and lies there for as long as he’s needed.
Douglas Maugans of Mechanicsburg, who has post-traumatic stress disorder, worked in air traffic control with the Army National Guard. He has a special bond with Tanner, whom he taught to be a service dog with training from Helping Hounds.(Beth Anne Heesen, The Patriot-News)
Two years ago, Tanner became a medical service dog through Helping Hounds, a program sponsored by the Central Pennsylvania Animal Alliance of Mechanicsburg, which works out of an airplane hanger at the Capital City Airport in Fairview Township.
Volunteers teach veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder to train their dogs.
Maugans saved Tanner from a rescue shelter in New Orleans four years ago, and now Tanner was ready to save his master.