Training dogs to assist the disabled has offered one Missouri veteran a new leash on life. Phillip Sturgeon, 35, a veteran who served as an Army medic in Iraq, was suffering from extensive injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder after a rocket-propelled grenade attack. According to the Southeast Missourian, Sturgeon felt like he has to learn “how to live life over again” when he returned home from the battlefield.
A non-profit organization based in St. Louis provided Sturgeon hope for recovery. Mission Continues helps empower wounded and disabled veterans to serve in their communities and suggested Sturgeon learn to train service dogs. The group provided Sturgeon with a fellowship to work as a puppy trainer with Support Dogs Inc.
Phillip Sturgeon is now training a puppy which will eventually be placed with someone in need of a service dog. The dog has garnered a spot in the limelight and will be featured in an upcoming segment on NBC with Tom Brokaw. Meanwhile, Sturgeon has plans to one day open his own local training school to provide dogs to those in need