Leo Guajardo and his service dog Liberty. Leo served in the U.S. Army, 2004-2009 (Iraq).

Service dog and training provided by Operation Freedom Paws.

“When they diagnosed me with PTSD, I asked, ‘What is PTSD?’ I knew the acronym but I really didn’t know what it meant. I was trying to understand and asked, ‘Can I just take a pill and get rid of it?’ And he said. ‘Well son, there’s no pill for it. There is nothing that you can actually do to get rid of it that easy.’ And that’s when I realized that I was going to be alone in this.

“At home Liberty will sit next to me. If she isn’t next to me then she’s right in front of me laying down while watching movies, anything like that. She does very well in case anything happens. When I fall asleep and if I start having nightmares she’ll start to lick my hand or nudge me a little bit so I can wake up. When we’re out in the Mall area she’ll veer me off to the left and guide me to the best place that she can, to a safe area, to just try and relax. Liberty’s a good girl. I love when she crosses her paws, I love that.”

-Leo Guajardo

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