Medical Service Dogs May be the Answer
Imagine waking up totally disoriented and distressed from a nightmare. It’s all too common for many U.S. veterans who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The frequency and intensity of the combat flashbacks cause many veterans to contemplate and eventually commit suicide.
Recent data released by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs show 22 military veterans commit suicide each day, a figure that has remained largely unchanged since 2005. HonorBound, in partnership with Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, is trying to reduce the number of veteran suicides.
Recently, we attended a fundraising event where military veterans suffering from PTSD described how their lives were changed after being paired with a therapy dog from Guardian Angels. John, a veteran who spoke at the event, shared his story of how he was contemplating suicide before his dog Ranger came into his life. John met Ranger at a training facility where they would end up spending several days together. On the first day, John, exhausted from a long drive, went to his room for a nap and experienced one of his frequent flashbacks. He awoke to find Ranger with his head placed on his chest, only minutes after the two had met.