Our veterans need our help in readjusting to the civilian world. There are a handful of people and organizations dedicated to both the soldiers who have served and the dogs who stood by their sides. Read on below for more on TADSAW and how it helps our nation's vets.
The startling truth is that Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) claims the lives of twenty-two service men and women every day. This boils down to one suicide every sixty-five minutes, a statistic that must change, albeit it is too terrible to even contemplate. A 'fight or flight' response is understandable and very common among those who face the enemy on the battlefield. The syndrome, however, is the result of this highly sensitive reaction when it is no longer necessary to be on guard every second of every minute of every day.
The battlefield has been transformed from the front lines of war to the tortured human mind. The condition presents itself in the form of flashbacks, excessive insomnia, bad dreams and other disruptive patterns. This destructive emotional force wreaks havoc with personal health, happiness and emotional stability. Triggers can be everywhere and emotional re-conditioning is vital to recovery. In this regard, a four-legged canine buddy can help in immeasurable ways. (See my article on Justin and military war dog, Bond.)
Train a Dog Save a Warrior
This very special program simultaneously serves a three-pronged purpose; namely, to serve the individual soldier, his or her family and the community at large. This is accomplished by providing the veteran both with a K-9 rescue 'Battle Buddy' and the training and tools necessary to work with the dog so that together they become a symbiotic 'Warrior/Service Dog Team." ( See my article on Malec, the Service Dog.)
It is ironic that the problems veterans face when dealing with the military bureaucracy haven't changed all that much since Joseph Heller wrote his best-selling book, Catch-22, back in the 1960s. His no-win' military policies concerning what veterans face when they returned home after world War II differed only slightly from today because, while the world and the needs of its citizens have changed, the government's attitude has not. PTSD was always there but never recognized. It is today's Catch-22 situation.
Many companies will not hire veterans if they suffer from PTSD. According to the New York Post, the police department won't hire vets who have PTSD. If they try to hide or lie about it, and the NYPD finds out the truth (and they always do because they get military records) veterans can get fired and lose their health care benefits.
TADSAW Offers a Life-line and Hope to Veterans
This wonderful organization will try to use the soldier's own personal dog if it is of the right temperament and size and can be trained to respond to the specific needs and commands of a soldier suffering from PTSD. There is already a bond established, making training a little easier. Sometimes, all that is required is the dog just sensing the right moment when a furry head placed in a lap will be a great source of comfort. At other times, needs are more specific and demanding. See my article on Vets To Vets.)
If the soldier's own dog is not a viable prospect for training, TADSAW will provide the right animal. Trainers visit local rescue shelters and evaluate which dog might complement that specific soldier. Once trained, the dog helps to open up a world long closed to a suffering veteran. The animal's presence and devotion help to dispel feelings of loneliness and isolation. In many instances, positive results include a decrease in anxiety, panic attacks and the need for many medications. (See Hampton Hounds)
Here's a thank you for all that you do, TADSAW.
For more information on this fine organization, please contact Program Director, Bart Sherwood, at 210-643-2901 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
See also: Bretagne