Where did you serve and what did you do?
Served in Iraq in 2010-2011 doing mostly supply missions for Ramadi while also serving as a member of the brigade SGM security team. Then I was deployed in 2013 to FOB Shank Afgahnistan “Rocket City”, where I also did supply missions and was the lead for area sling load mission.
Tell us how your dog is helping you continue #StillServing in your community.
Since rescuing my dog Domino, and starting training, it has forced me to put myself out their. I have two daughters ages 4 and 5. Before getting Domino I could barely make it through weekly grocery shopping trips. I have been diagnosed since leaving the service with PTSD, depression, and anxiety disorder. All this lead to addiction. I have been sober for nearly five years but the trauma and mental health conditions persisted. Before I got my Domino, I stayed home. And even then having Two little girls running around, screaming, just being kids was hard. Domino calms me, helps me relax and provides pressure therapy. In public she helps to separate me from people when I get overwhelmed. The family and I just got back from a trip to Universal Studios, I want my kids to have happy event filled childhoods. Something that I didn’t have. Before Domino that trip would have never happened, but now with her during the trip, though it was overwhelming, I did enjoy myself, even better my children had a permanent smile. She has made me more social and had put me out their to help other veterans locally with the service dog world. It she has linked me to some amazing people and trainers, but most of all she has helped me be a better me. I will always fight with my mental health but Domino has made it more manageable, and removes me from situations that overcome me.
Why do you do it?
Why do I help other veterans? It’s a way to give back and help others that otherwise don’t know about or how much a constant companion can help. It’s my mission and their as so few resources for such an amazing therapy.