DOB: 7 JUN 2018
PAIRED: 21 DEC 2019
"I met my buddy for the first time right before Christmas of 2019. I could tell right away that he needed love and protection that only I could give. I heard he had been through and seen some bad things during war so I really wanted to make him happy. We’ve been best friends ever since. A bonus for me are his 3 boys whom I also get unconditional love from and treats! My mom is pretty great, too….she thinks I’m special."
“I served in the Infantry of the Army National Guard from 2006 until 2014, over 6 of those years were active duty. I deployed to Afghanistan in 2009, where we ran a lot of missions that reported Troops in Contact. We responded to many IEDs and found over 20 IEDs ourselves. I served as the media person for my squad as well as a driver, gunner, and dismounted patrol. In my role as media personnel, I took pictures of every incident. We saw and performed many frightful things. Most people don’t know what it is like to pull a gun on a child out of fear for one's own life. It took me 8 years of weekly therapy and daily medications before I was connected with Hero Family Outreach. During those years, I was a mess. Constant anxiety, depression, relationship struggles with family, anger, and frustration filled my days. Then I was introduced to Percy. Percy is a chocolate lab, and his personality is much like mine. We instantly clicked. In a world where I felt there were too many choices and too many chances of not having control, Percy is that control. He gave me my self-confidence back. I'm still trying to relearn social cues, but I'm no longer taking 11 medications a day for PTSD, anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, and pain. It's truly amazing to think about how introducing a pup with the proper training can change so much. I have been able to improve my marriage and my relationship with my kids. Although the triggers are still there, and, sometimes, the nightmares and worries, I can simply look at my canine partner’s eyes and his ears perk up, he shoves his head between my legs and uses his body weight to get my attention and ground me in the moment.
I couldn't be more happy with HFO because it truly is a family-oriented organization. I'm not certain that I could ever repay or thank them enough for giving me Percy and the opportunity to get my life back. Thank you."