Where did you serve and what did you do?
Vietnam 1966 – Infantry Operations Paul Revere and Hawthorne Central Highlands in Central Vietnam
Tell us how your dog is helping you continue #StillServing in your community.
Combat duty in Vietnam left me 100% disabled. Neurological issues left me with balance deficiencies and diabetes. The VA recommended a service dog (SD). It would take two years to get an SD from the recommended provider called the International Dog Assistance (IDA) organization.
Another vet got me in touch with The Malinois Foundation that found a good dog that was a fit for me, and we trained together to assist me in attaining the most normal life possible. A year later my SD (Marshall) skillset had exceeded the excellence measurements.
I tried to get him registered thru the VA and was approved locally. They sent it up the ladder and Marshall was not approved because he did not come from an IDA-approved vendor. The training organization must be a paid member of IDA where the cost is high and availability low.
The training and testing emulate those of the American Dog Club (AKC) The dog training organizations for service dogs are all members of the AKC as that’s who is relied on for certification testing that qualifies the SD for a specific or multiple jobs. It’s a shame that only one organization such as IDA is authorized when the AKC is established and recognized internationally improving availability for a service dog for veterans exponentially.
Marshall has normalized my life to a degree I did not think possible. It’s amazing what he is capable of, and his enthusiasm for support. He sticks to me like glue and is forever watchful over me. My thanks to the Malinois Foundation and other organizations that support veterans in their time of need.
I also want to thank Marshall for all of his support and hard work. To me – It’s precious.
Why do you do it?
The answer is Quality of Life.