In the Community

‘I Owe My Happiness to Him’

Between 2013 and 2015, Annie Ferguson served in Afghanistan as a member of the Navy’s special warfare female engagement team and then in Iraq as an expeditionary intelligence specialist.

“After back-to-back combat deployments, I had to admit to myself that my mental health was in shambles,” she said.

Ferguson went on a 91-day paddling expedition with the organization Warrior Expeditions, down the Mississippi River to help with Post-Traumatic Stress and improve her mental health.

“I experienced a lot of emotions and had time and solitude to deal with my issues. By the end of the trip, I decided the healthiest thing I could do was to get a dog,” she said.

Ferguson received her emotional support dog, Killian, six years ago and is #StillServing with his help. A member of VFW Post 1966 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Ferguson is more comfortable attending functions and going to work with Killian by her side.

“A canine companion is such a valuable tool for veterans and their mental and physical health,” she said. “I believed a dog would give me purpose and happiness. Killian has done that and more. I owe my happiness and current successes to him.”

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