Tuesday, April 26, 2011



It is the degree of character.  It is the depth of commitment.  It is devotion.  It is the quality of your service.  It is your passion. It is your ability to care. 

In a hundred years, it won't matter what kind of car you drive, what size house you live in, or what your bank balance might be.  What will matter is that you made a difference in a life. That you cared enough about someone, other than yourself, to understand the honor in giving.  And that, that honor is enough. 

How often do you see people standing on the sidelines?  Watching, observing, doing nothing. They grumble and complain and turn up their noses at society, the government, the life they live.  They make noise but do nothing.

Making a difference is a marriage of the people who care, who contribute the best that they have toward creating a person, a world, that is substantially improved because they cared.  This caring carries with it peace.  To many, many who have only known suffering and pain and whose spirits are beaten, it is up to us to help them find peace.  Albert Camus said, " Peace is the only battle worth waging."  People don't get better because you talk about it.  They get better because you cared enough to help them, to reach our your hand and offer your heart.  To be there for them when they are struggling.  To be there for them when they hurt, are in pain, are afraid, are alone.  Be there for them with a hand to hold and a heart that hears and understands.

This is what Penny's From Heaven Foundation and Train a Dog ~ Save a Warrior is predicated upon.  Being there.  Being present.  Answering the call for help when it comes.

A young woman, a former medic, from OIF called me yesterday.  She wants to save her marriage, her family, her life.  She wants a life.  A life free of fear, free of anxiety.  She wants to go to her daughter's graduation on a plane that she is not afraid of getting on.  She wants to be able to stand in the airport in the Vermont hub and see 'boots on the ground' heading off to Iraq/Afghanistan without fearing for their future and becoming paralyzed with a panic attack.

I listened.  I heard.  She said she had called at least ten other organizations advertising service dogs for PTSD.  They either did not answer, they didn't care, were too busy to listen, an answer phone picked up, or they wanted money, and it would take years.  How sad.

Within 30 minutes three people from TADSAW (Train a Dog ~ Save a Warrior) had called her, talked to her, and listened.  She now has hope.  What a huge word that is!  Hope.  For 6 years she has continued the battle that came home with her from Iraq.  She hid it from her husband.  She struggled with this hell alone.  Now she has his support and she has been given the gift of hope.

Those who have borne the battle, carried it home, need our help. If we can offer a dog that will open a door to a new and less fearful life, it is our honor. Perhaps now she will not have to go inside herself to nurse her wounds.  

Our warriors returning with PTSD try to escape their thoughts, their feelings, having to think or escape themselves.  They fear being alone, the cell phone, a restaurant, a shop.  They connect to everyone but themselves.  So when things break up and fences fall over and desperation and powerlessness slink in, TADSAW is here.  And perhaps, just perhaps with a service dog by their side life will not be quite so bad.  Don't we owe them that much? 


Please contribute and help us save a warrior.

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