I am always surprised by the range of Wishes that Hope For The Warrirors® grants through our A Warrior’s Wish® program.  In 2011 alone, we have sent a couple on a vacation, bought a bass boat, and supported someone on the U.S. Paralympic Team by giving him more archery equipment.  Some Wishes are more practical–we have renovated bathrooms to make them handicap accessible and purchased beds that can finally help some of our wounded sleep comfortably.

One of my favorite Wishes this year involves a man and his new service dog.  Carlos suffered from severe post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and chronic pain.  After two years, he felt useless as a father, husband and as a man.  This was definitely a man lacking hope in his life.

The organization Freedom Dogs approached Carlos with the offer to pair him with a service dog, specifically trained to help veterans with PTSD.  Carlos reluctantly agreed and was introduced to Logan.  Almost immediately, he began to feel more comfortable interacting with family and friends.  With Logan by his side, he could even go into crowded areas again.

Carlos and Logan, his service dog

Logan changed this man’s life and his Wish to Hope For The Warriors® was to have that same impact on others by becoming a certified service dog trainer.  His Wish was for financial assistance in paying for the program.  We received a donation from MSA Security, a company that specializes in the use and training of dogs for security.  Staff within our Above & Beyond Program worked with Carlos on his application for this program as well.

I love that this man’s Wish is ultimately to help others.  He knows firsthand how much a service dog can help someone suffering from PTSD.  He understands that by helping others, he will also be helping himself and his family even more.  When Carlos finishes his training, I hope to update all of you on his progress.

Feedback Needed
Can you recommend any other organizations that trains service dogs to work with our guys with PTSD?  I would love to get some feedback on the great work that some of these organizations are doing.  I also would like to know if this is something that you tried and it did not work.  I do not want to pretend that the use of service dogs is the answer for every person.  When it comes to PTSD, I do not believe that there is a quick fix for everyone.

Feel free to e-mail me directly:  awoods@hopeforthewarriors.org.