K9s For Warriors is not like other service dog organizations. The training is intense and program participants are required to stay on campus for 21 days. What really sets K9s apart from other organizations, however, is the very personal and family-oriented feel of the environment. Nested on nine acres of land, each portion of Camp K9 was built with the warrior’s needs and comfort in mind. The main building consists of the administration office and the warrior clubhouse. Large kitchen, dining areas, living areas, a library, and a gym make up the clubhouse.
Because our program is based on the philosophy that veterans should be involved in their own recovery, their training is meant to put them outside their comfort zone. The days are long and challenging. Warriors train with their dogs for nearly 8 hours a day. The warrior passenger bus departs for the day around 8:30am for public access training. Lectures, training sessions, dog-grooming, and field trips are some of the key elements of this vital instruction.
Last year, we experienced many wonderful achievements and milestones. Now that the 2016 chapter of K9s For Warriors’ story has concluded, it is time to turn the page and shift our focus to 2017. I am proud to inform you that I have stepped into a new role at K9s For Warriors - Chief Executive Officer. I plan to use my legal background, entrepreneurial spirit, and leadership skills to guide this organization to a direction of additional growth and prosperity.
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.