As Canada honours its veterans on November 11th, we need to remember that there are still soldiers fighting in wars around the world. But are we doing enough to support those returning from military duty? Every day in the US, 22 veterans commit suicide.
A program called “K9’s for Warriors” aims to help relieve the stress from Post Traumatic Stress disorder by teaming up soldiers with therapy dogs. Their goal is to give a new leash on life to rescue dogs and military heroes, empowering warriors to return to civilian life with dignity and independence.
Warriors like Erick Scott, who served in the American National Guard and saw the horrors of war everyday while serving in Iraq. Erick was teamed up with Gumbo, who was trained to recognize when the veteran was experiencing elevated stress with the potential of having a panic attack. During a live TV interview, while talking about his combat experience, you can see Erick begin to struggle for his words, but Gumbo, who is trained to sit still until he is needed, jumps into action to relieve his owner and help calm him down. It’s a beautiful moment between a dog and his owner.
Video credit: WTLV/USA Today
For another amazing story of animals helping veterans overcome PTSD, check out the story of Stephen Simmons and his companions Puppi and Burma.