Northwest Battle Buddies Gifts Trained Service Dogs To Veterans Battling PTSD
Faith without work is dead. This is why “Creating Hope Through Action” has been the triennial theme from 2021-2023. It is a call to action for World Suicide Prevention Day. Encouragement and strong prevention initiatives serve as powerful alternatives to suicide.
World Suicide Prevention Day is September 10th each year, with the purpose of raising awareness of suicide and how our actions can prevent suicide. The Non-profit Northwest Battle Buddies is not only taking action but also making an amazing difference in the lives of Veterans suffering from PTSD. They have a huge asset leading the fight to save the lives of America's heroes.
Professionally trained Service Dogs! Northwest Battle Buddies has 212+ teams of service dogs, and one by one, they are saving the lives of those who put their lives on the line. Nothing is more rewarding than giving back to a Veteran who has given so much. This program is phenomenal and is a testament to the dedicated work of training dogs to help Veterans cope.
What can Northwest Battle Buddies Service Dogs do to help mitigate symptoms of PTSD?
- Providing unconditional companionship
- Providing security and safety
- Stop anxiety attacks
- Provide social barriers in the public
- Redirecting flashbacks
- Alerting on adrenaline
- Performing pressure therapy
Combat Veteran DL's service dog Atlas came from Northwest Battle Buddies and talked about how this program and Atlas have changed his life. He said,
“Service dogs can be the difference between life and death. I’ve listened to stories from other veterans, and I hear the pain in their voices and see it in their eyes. As an empathetic person, I feel their pain almost like it’s my own. And having the presence of a service dog to help buffer those feelings of pain - it’s powerful.”
The beauty of what Northwest Battle Buddies does for Veterans is also a second chance at life for many service dogs. Most of these fantastic animals were unwanted and rescued from animal shelters. So, it's a beautiful program that keeps on giving. The service dogs undergo rigorous and intensive training. Shannon Walker, CEO and Founder of Northwest Battle Buddies, explained what that process is like,
"There is so much preparation, dedication, and hard work as the dogs are either adopted or bred. The pups are raised in carefully selected foster homes for 8-12 months and then the dogs enter their 5 months of professional training. The final step is selecting the Veterans that will be paired with the dogs to then enter their 5 weeks of training.
This is where the “magic” happens. The instant the Veterans meet their dogs the walls start to come down, the tears start to flow, and they begin to truly hope again and start to believe that a future of freedom and independence is within their grasp. Northwest Battle Buddies National Model invests the longest training time for their dogs and their Veterans in the industry. Excellence is the standard for our dogs and our Veterans, they deserve nothing less.”
Here is how the public can help: Join Operation Never Quit (ONQ22) and pledge $22+ monthly to provide a professionally trained service dog to a veteran. There are many ways to volunteer, donate an item or two on the Amazon Charity List, Foster a puppy, become a sponsor, and much more. Check out all the options at northwestbattlebuddies.org.