Operation Freedom – Lucky’s Army
For veterans struggling to overcome the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, returning to civilian life and daily routines can often be very difficult. Trained service and therapeutic dogs can help veterans manage stress, build self-esteem, and more easily adjust to social situations. Service dogs are trained to stay by their owner’s side, warn them of people coming up to them, and physically help them maintain distance from strangers. These tactics help the veterans feel safer and more calm.
Army Specialist David Brandrowsky (pictured to the right) planned to take his own life in a moment of desperation. He had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, a traumatic brain injury and depression as a result of his 2008 tour in Iraq. As he held a gun to his head and tried to pull the trigger, Benny, his service dog, knocked the gun out of his hand. The 18-month old Shepherd-Hound mix that was given to him just months before had saved his life.
Explore.org and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America have organized a campaign to help veterans like Specialist Brandrowsky who suffer from PTSD. For every 1,000 people who click “like” on the Dog Bless You Facebook page between May 27 and July 4, one service dog will be given to a veteran with PTSD.The organization’s goal is to reach 500,000 new “likes” on Facebook and to provide 100 service dogs to returning veterans.
Charlie Annenberg, founder of explore.org and “Dog Bless You” said, “The mission of explore.org is to champion the selfless acts of others, to create a portal into the soul of humanity and to inspire lifelong learning. What is the easiest way to do this? Through dogs – they see our souls like no other. That is why as we build Dog Bless You, I believe that it’s mission should be to champion the selfless acts of animals.”
For more information and to get involved, visit www.facebook.com/exploredogs