Many returning veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have anxiety issues including fears of being in public places and around big groups of people. Other veterans struggle with being wounded and still others from varying forms of anxiety. A charity called America’s VetDogs helps these veterans regain some sense of control over their lives.
Veterans from all over the U.S. come to the VetDogs campus in Smithtown, N.Y. to be matched up with a dog specifically trained to care for that veteran. Dogs trained at this facility are used to console patients at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Centers across the country, to include Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Additionally, two “combat stress” dogs live with psychotherapists in both Tikrit and Mosul, Iraq and two more will be sent over this month. These dogs provide emotional assistance to military personnel suffering from:
- Sleep disorders;
- Homesickness; or
- Battle-related anxieties.
The dogs’ training is specific to the veteran they are paired with. If necessary, they help with picking up dropped items, balance problems, and carrying small backpacks. Military personnel suffering from PTSD are given dogs able to sense environments, such as crowds, they may find stressful and physically act to prevent the soldier from getting too close to the situation.
Service dogs are credited with helping many patients recover at VA hospitals all over the country. These dogs have been integrated in psychotherapy sessions because of their ability to relax patients, which makes it easier for soldiers to access their emotions. The dogs physically touch the veterans when they sense them clamming up and it helps those veterans to release.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.