Thursday, August 19, 2010
One very early morning, I received a phone call. The voice at the other end was trembling, as a man whispered, "I need help."
This American soldier, living in a cabin in the woods in Pennsylvania, needed help getting his little dog, his "lifeline, his battle buddy," certified to be his service dog for severe PTSD. I spoke with him for an hour and gave him what information I could to assist.
I encouraged him, I listened to him, and to a great degree I understood him.
He had been deployed three times, was awarded two Purple Hearts, two Bronze Stars, two Silver Stars, and acute PTSD. Today and everyday, he is unable to leave the protection and isolation of the woods. He had gone into isolation to hide, to heal. Whether he knew it or not, he was taking the first step to saving his own life. Staying in his 'bunker' would lead to more depression, and ultimately, he might not be able to get out by himself. He had tiptoed out just long enough to ask for help. And all because of the love of a little dog.
This twenty pound dog affords him the courage to go into public, to be visible to the world, to not crawl back into his 'bunker' alone. The only thing he was asking for, after all he sacrificed, was to be able to take his 'battle buddy' into places like Walmart to make him feel safe. Safe from the demons, terrors, flashbacks, and mental 'replays' in which he sees, hears, feels, smells, tastes every aspect of the war he can't leave behind.
He doesn't know how to be happy. There is no joy in his life. For him there is little reason to live, except for this little dog that carries the leash that, hopefully, will guide him out of his 'bunker.'
The Marine Corps phrase of "we take care of our own" is literal. Perhaps only a veteran can walk a veteran out of his 'bunker'. Perhaps in this case this veteran is a little dog named Buddy.
After all this warrior did to protect us, is this too much to ask?
TRAIN A DOG - SAVE A WARRIOR PROGRAM
In this program, shelter dogs will be specially selected, rescued, and obedience trained for a donation to a warrior wsith Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as a Comfort/Support Dog.
Your contribution will make a difference.
$250.00 will help sponsor our first dog for a very special Marine with severe PTSD and two TBI's (Traumatic Brain Injuries).
Please send to:
PENNY'S FROM HEAVEN FOUNDATION
13423 BLANCO ROAD, SUITE 218
SAN ANTONIO, TX 78216