(Ponte Vedra, FL)- US Air Force Senior Airman Billy Crocker has returned home to Hallsville, Texas, after receiving life-changing instruction and a service dog from K9s For Warriors. Crocker and his yellow lab, Dozer, are members of the January 2017 graduating class of K9s For Warriors.
The Florida-based nonprofit specializes in training rescue dogs to serve veterans suffering from Post-traumatic Stress (PTS), traumatic brain injury (TBI) or military sexual trauma (MST) as a result of post-9/11 military service. Veterans such as Crocker, have tried an array of treatment options to manage their symptoms, with little results. The K9s For Warriors program gives wounded warriors an alternative remedy: a four-legged battle buddy.
“Dozer gives me the confidence to enter into the world again.” said Crocker. “K9s For Warriors has already drastically changed my life.”
20% of the 1.7 million men and women who served in Iraq and Afghanistan have been diagnosed with PTSD
22 veterans commit suicide every day
K9s For Warriors serves veterans in every state and is the largest service dog provider for veterans battling the invisible wounds of war
278 veterans have graduated from the service dog training program
The average warrior is on 10-15 medications when beginning the program. Ninety-two percent of graduates are able to reduce or eliminate medication use upon program completion
Ninety percent of the dogs trained at K9s For Warriors are rescues, many minutes away from euthanasia before being accepted into the program
Program participants live on campus at K9s For Warriors for three weeks, where they train for
There is no cost for veterans to participate in the program
“War is ugly… it is not pretty,” said Shari Duval, Founder, K9s For Warriors. “These men and women write a blank check to our country and give their lives. They come home from combat as changed people. They’re depressed, angry, and have survivor’s guilt. We have a responsibility to take care of these veterans. That is why I am here. That is why K9s For Warriors is here. Sometimes people turn their backs on these vets, but I never will. I am a mom to every warrior and each of them have a special place in my heart.”
If you would like to schedule an interview with US Air Force veteran Billy Crocker or a K9s For Warriors representative, or would like additional information, please contact Samantha Epstein at Samantha@K9sForWarriors.org, or call (904) 686-1956.
About K9s For Warriors
K9s For Warriors is dedicated to providing service canines to warriors suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a result of injuries they have received during military service post-9/11. The canines used in the program are carefully evaluated, former rescue/shelter dogs or owner surrenders. Give a new leash on life to rescue dogs and military heroes.
Find more information at www.k9sforwarriors.org
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