On this K9s Veterans Day, there is a special local veteran story to share about Robert and Andy. Hundreds of thousands of veterans are afflicted by life-altering, debilitating PTSD and military-related traumas. This problem is so acute that approximately 20 veterans take their own lives every day. But one organization – K9s For Warriors – is improving and saving the lives of returning combat veterans through the use of specially-trained trained Service Dogs.
Robert Foster, a retired US Navy veteran from Kissimmee, Florida, was diagnosed with severe PTSD following service in Iraq and Kuwait. Determined to start the healing process for himself and his family, he heard about an organization called K9s For Warriors from a veteran who had previously been involved in the program.
“I want my life back,” he said. “I will never forget my experience in the Navy, but I want to return back to living in the moment with my family and enjoying every minute.”
K9s For Warriors is the nation’s largest provider of trained Service Dogs to military veterans suffering from PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and/or military sexual trauma. With the majority of dogs coming from high-kill rescue shelters, this innovative program allows the K9/Warrior team to build an unwavering bond that facilitates their collective healing and recovery.
Through the program, Robert was connected with a doodle Service Dog named Andy who now helps him with everyday life, as the two have returned home to continue their new life together.
To date, K9s For Warriors has graduated nearly 700 Warrior-K9 teams and rescued more than 1,300 dogs overall.
National K9 Veterans Day is a celebration of the thousands of dogs on the front lines of military battlefields across the globe, as they serve valiantly in conjunction with their human counterparts.