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Canine companion helps veteran encourage others

After 26 years serving in the Army as Military Police, Geraldine Rimpley wanted to become Commander of the VFW Department of Colorado. But she was unsure whether she was up to the challenge.

Three decades in the military included combat deployments to Somalia, Kosovo and Iraq and left Rimpley with Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS).

“I have always aspired to be elected as Commander,” she explained. “But due to my high stress and anxiety levels as a result of PTS from combat, I never felt I could successfully perform those duties.”   

In 2019, Rimpley was assigned service dog Katy to help her with daily activities in public settings and to feel more comfortable in large crowds.

In time and with Katy’s support, Rimpley set out to achieve her long-held goal of becoming Commander. Today, she proudly holds the title and uses her position to help others.

“I decided to pursue the position so I may have the ability to teach, coach and mentor fellow VFW comrades, but most importantly, to share my success story of having a service dog,” she said.

Rimpley insists that without Katy’s help, she would not have been able to reach her goal or live a full and purposeful life.

Today, with Katy by her side, Rimpley is #StillServing in many ways, including by helping other veterans get their own service animal to improve their lives just as she did.

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