In the Community

Canine Companion Helps Vietnam Veteran Carry Out Mission

After graduating high school in 1966, Larry Jordan and his best friend Paul Doyon decided to enlist and join the Marine Corps. Two years later, Jordan landed in Danang, South Vietnam.

During a 13-month tour, Jordan conducted patrols, night ambushes, road sweep security and perimeter security. On January 29, 1969, he returned home to Ipswich, Massachusetts, but Paul did not.

“I joined the Marines with my best friend. Paul was killed in Vietnam on May 18, 1967,” said Jordan. “That loss, as well as those of other high school classmates who enlisted and Marines I served with brought on a strong desire to never let them or other veterans be forgotten.”

After his honorable discharge in 1972, Jordan struggled with Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS). Rather than succumbing to it, Jordan used his condition as motivation to help other veterans who were struggling also.

Since then, Jordan has committed much of his time to honoring fallen veterans, as well as supporting those who made it home but continue to suffer.

“Remembering our fellow veterans who lost their lives while serving remains the mission for many of us. We don’t want their names, faces or contributions to our country to ever be forgotten,” he explained. “In addition, extending a hand to veterans in need remains another focus.”

Recently, Jordan discovered a new way to receive and offer support. In May of 2021, he graduated from the Canine Companions Veterans Initiative training program which places service dogs with veterans with PTS. Today, Jordan and his service dog Koz stay active within the community.

“I make myself available to local schools, law enforcement agencies and other civic and veterans’ organizations to promote service dog awareness and their importance to veterans,” he explained.

Jordan understands firsthand how a service dog can help struggling individuals and seeks to educate others.

“Recently, I participated in a presentation at a local Disabled American Veteran’s post, and Koz was the focus of the discussion,” he said. “It was a very successful visit.”

Jordan has found that, with Koz by his side, it’s easier to connect with individuals who tend to shy away from discussing their condition.

“With Koz, I’m able to initiate interest in other veterans,” he said. “I can introduce the benefits of having a service dog and explain how they can change your life for the better.” “Koz has opened up new opportunities for me,” he said. “With him, I can continue my mission to help other veterans.”

If you’re a veteran with a service dog, working dog, therapy dog or emotional support dog, share your #StillServing story and photo.

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