posted on May 29, 2017 15:31
Fayetteville, AR -- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder isn't an uncommon thing for war veterans to experience upon their return to the United States. One local organization is assisting veterans across Northwest Arkansas with the help of furry friends.
Soldiers for Service Dogs started 3 years ago and is now helping veterans all across Northwest Arkansas who are suffering from PTSD or traumatic brain injuries.
"Having a properly trained service dog provides that unconditional love to our veteran and supports them in ways that other humans can't." Veterans Program Manager for Soldier ON Service Dogs, Elise Burt said.
The organization was started after realizing there was a critical need for service dogs in the area for veterans.
"I've always wanted a service dog because I've been in a wheelchair a long, long time and the VA wouldn't approve me of one so I didn't know what I was going to do until this came up and I'm like in heaven." Vietnam War Veteran, Jonathan Christopherson, said.
Soldier for Service Dogs said having a service dog can make a huge impact on a veteran's life. The organization matches the veterans with the dogs based on their needs and temperament. Vietnam War veteran Jonathan Christopherson said he was paired with Trout in March.
"There are a lot of veterans that need these dogs like myself. There's a lot of things I can do for myself but there are things I can't do and dogs like this help these veterans for their needs."
Trout helps Christopherson with things like opening doors, picking things up off the floor, and waking him up when he has nightmares.
Reporter: What does it mean for you to be able to have a dog like Trout?
Christopherson: "It's like....it's the most wonderful thing in the world. To know that you love a dog and a dog loves you and does what you need him to do and you're bound together. You're one."
The organization currently has 5 fully trained service dogs with 3 more set to graduate at the end of June.
To find out more information visit their website.