Veteran's Day is a time in which we honor and celebrate those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.  At Unleash, we believe our country owes military veterans a debt of gratitude. Many of our soldiers have returned with physical and emotional injuries that have made it difficult to transition back to civilian life. As a result, our four-legged friends have become very beneficial in providing assistance, safety and emotional support for these veterans. Here are a few ways dogs are helping our veterans:

Service Dogs: A service dog is a dog trained to do specific tasks for a person that he or she cannot do because of a disability. The disability may be a loss of a limb, balance issues, spinal injury, deafness etc. Service dogs can are trained to do any task that allows the individual live a more independent life. This includes: picking things up, opening doors, or even using the dog as a brace to stand.  Those that are interested in seeking the support of a service dog must first establish that they are legally disabled through their medical caregiver. After the disability is confirmed, you would then contact an organization that trains service dogs .

Guide Dogs: In the U.S., there are approximately 160,000 legally blind veterans. Guide dogs are dogs that are trained to lead the blind or vision impaired. These dogs possess an eagerness to please and a willingness to work. They are trained to lead a person from point A to point B safely. They are skilled in avoiding obstacles that are in their path. Because they are alowed to go any place their handler goes,  they are capable of ignoring distrations and are well behaved inpublic.  

Veterans with PTSD: Many veterans who served in the military are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can occur after you have been through a traumatic event.  A trained service dog can provide a sense of companionship, alleviate stress, and help impliment physical exercise into the daily lives of those that suffer with this disorder.

Related Resources:

Assistance Dogs International (Service Dogs)

International Guide Dog Federation (Guide Dogs)

National Association of Guide Dog Users

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