Everyone needs help sometimes.
A veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder said that he now has hope that he’ll be able to do something with his son that he thought might’ve been impossible: take him to a theme park. According to the vet, he owes his newfound optimism to his service dog.
A Ponte Verde, Fla., veteran who was identified as Gabriel P. recently graduated from the K9s For Warriors training program, News4Jax.com reports. Due to his PTSD, Gabriel said he can no longer go to theme parks because of his fear of crowds and public spaces.
The veteran told the news outlet, “I believe having a service dog would calm my fears of going out in public, and instead of thinking about what could go wrong, I would be thinking about my service dog. With my service dog by my side, it is my goal to take my son to a theme park someday.”
While in the training program, Gabriel worked daily with his service dog, Chris, in public. They trained in various ways to build a bond between the two to facilitate Gabriel’s healing.
Rory Diamon, CEO of K9s For Warriors, told News4Jax, “The rate of veteran suicide in our country is unacceptable. These are the people who volunteered their lives so that Americans can enjoy their everyday independence. But PTSD steals their independence, and worst of all, suicide steals their lives. K9s For Warriors is here to give both back to them through a new, loyal battle buddy – a service dog.”