Opening the doors to K9s For Warriors was a task that took tremendous effort, drive, and passion. At the time, I saw the start of this organization as a way to help veterans and my son, Brett. I remember being sick with concern over my only son when he developed PTSD after returning home from Iraq as a civilian bomb dog handler.
Because dogs were the one constant in his life, I knew training service dogs for others fighting the invisible wounds of war would give him a purpose; I was right. Today, Brett is the President of K9s For Warriors, and I couldn’t be more proud. Brett and I, together with our amazing team of talented staff members, have touched more lives than we ever thought possible.
Not only are we helping America’s wounded sons and daughters recover from their debilitating scars, but we are also freeing their loved ones from the fear I once suffered from. Losing a family member to suicide is a scenario that no one should ever have to experience. Because of your support, our veterans reduce their risk for suicide and can become the men and women their families once knew before they experienced military trauma. A service dog gives our warriors back one component of life that every person in the world needs: hope. In 2016, we restored hope into the hearts of so many heroes. Our continued work ensures that our beloved veterans can live life to the fullest and complete tasks we sometimes take for granted.
Although we’ve had many very impressive achievements this year, please know that there is still so much work to be done. Each new day, more cases of veteran PTSD are diagnosed. Our mission isn’t complete until every post-9/11 veteran struggling with PTSD has a service dog and a new leash on life. I look forward to that day. Thank you for your support.