Troopers Assisting Troops supports K9s For Warriors, a service dog program. K9s For Warriors pair up carefully matched rescue dogs with wounded veterans to assist in the transition of their return to civilian life with dignity and independence. Wounded Warriors attend K9s For Warriors Campus for a three week/120 hour resident academy where they are partnered up with their new companion. Troopers Assisting Troops sponsors wounded warriors to participate in this program and pays for the dogs maintenance and vet care, the warrior’s transportation, training, certification equipment, housing, meals and teaching manuals. There is no cost to the Warrior. This program saves two lives, the rescue dog and the Wounded Warrior.
What My Service Dogs Means to Me
By Jeremy, Recipient of TAT’s first sponsored K9
In September 2014 I was lucky enough to have my service dog “Trooper” introduced to my chaotic life. I suffer from sever Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) because of my deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Serving in the United States Army was always something I felt a calling to do. I joined shortly after 911 as a cavalry scout.
I was injured in a rocket attack on 31July2006. As a result of my injuries I was unable to perform my job as a scout. I was honorably discharged a year after being injured. As time went by my loved ones noticed that I was having major issues adapting to a life outside the military. I tried every drug the VA had to offer as well as intensive therapy. Nothing seemed to really work. I would “get by” but life was still a mess.
I knew life could be better. I knew my family deserved to have a better, healthier life. I was fortunate enough to cross paths with some of the guys from TROOPERS ASSISTING TROOPS (TAT) a grass roots non-profit group of retired and active New Jersey State Troopers and friends, providing support to returning Wounded Warriors from Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom, and they took me in as one of their own. We developed a strong bond and as time went on they sponsored a service dog for me. I was hesitant about a service dog. I didn’t think it was something I could benefit from. I was grateful but still wasn’t going to go through with plan to have a dog for my PTSD. After some back and forth with TAT and Sheri Duval (mom) of K9S FOR WARRIORS, I decided to give it a shot.
In September of 2014 I went to Ponte Vedra, Fl and met “Trooper”. The training was overwhelming; it was hard. It challenged me in ways that I’ve never been challenged. The end result was me going home with the most amazing addition to my life. “Trooper” has helped me and my life in so many ways. He has literally given me my independence that I was missing. “Trooper” is with me every second of everyday. He has become part of me.
My family and I are so grateful that TAT chose me as the first recipient of a service dog. I hope and pray they continue to change lives through helping other veterans get the help they deserve and fought for.