Dave Jennelle & Laddie

In 1990 U.S. Navy veteran Dave Jennelle was deployed to the Persian Gulf as a part of Operation Desert Shield. He was assigned to the amphibious assault ship, the USS Tripoli, and was on board when it struck 350 pounds of TNT in early morning hours. He sustained a traumatic brain injury which, after many years, was finally diagnosed by the VA. Dave lives with post-traumatic stress as well. After years of restlessness and anger, he learned about service animals and Operation Freedom Paws. His life has been transformed since he was partnered with and trained his service dog Laddie.
22 U.S. veterans commit suicide every day. This statistic does not include servicewomen that have taken their lives.

There Is A Purpose For Me

Oh No … I Don’t Have That

What’s A Laddie

He Goes Everywhere With Me

There Is Light

These Colors Don’t Run

Carlos Vera & Ruthie

At age 18, veteran Carlos Vera enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and served for six years. In 1992, he deployed to Somalia, Operation Restore Hope, and was among the first troops to arrive to that conflict. Poorly equipped and on call 24/7, the war left its mark. After leaving the military in 1997, all of the symptoms of post-traumatic stress were present, but it was years before he was diagnosed. Treatments he was offered failed. His last stop, at Operation Freedom Paws, was a truly life-saving experience–he was partnered with his service dog Ruthie.
22 U.S. veterans commit suicide every day. This statistic does not include servicewomen that have taken their lives.

Say Hi to Ruthie

She Taught Me to Smile

What Do I Tell Vets?

Chris Dolan & April

U.S. Army veteran Chris Dolan was deployed three times, once to Iraq and twice to Afghanistan. After coming home, it was only after a hospitalization that the Army finally diagnosed him with PTSD. Eventually he learned about service dogs and found Operation Freedom Paws where he met and trained April. With her by his side Chris is more able to get out of flashbacks, depression and nightmares, and can now navigate a crowd.
22 U.S. veterans commit suicide every day. This statistic does not include servicewomen that have taken their lives.

She’s An Ice Breaker

She Wakes Me Up

Pay Attention To Me Now

Alex Gries & Sherman
U.S. Army veteran Alex Gries served in Iraq. Struggling with the aftermath of combat, Alex partnered and trained with her beloved service dog Sherman at Operation Freedom Paws. Alex is finding her “new normal” with Sherman by her side helping to mitigate the challenges of post-traumatic stress and physical injuries sustained during her military service.
22 U.S. veterans commit suicide every day. This statistic does not include servicewomen that have taken their lives.

24/7

You Have To Be Proactive

Out of the Dark

Chris Ramirez & Bobby
U.S. Marine Corps veteran Chris Ramirez served in Afghanistan. As a result of his military service Chris suffers with post-traumatic stress and other physical injuries. Eventually, over time after coming home, he was introduced to Operation Freedom Paws where he met and trained his service dog Bobby. With Bobby, Chris’ life has been transformed as he has integrated back with his family and community.
22 U.S. veterans commit suicide every day. This statistic does not include servicewomen that have taken their lives

A Big Blessing

Set Your Pride Aside

He’s There

"In Memory of 23 Who Gave All," Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington DC
For my dear friend and Vietnam War veteran, Denny McLaughlin, who lost 23 brothers while serving in-country.
 

“My visit to The Wall in Washington, DC in 2008 was bittersweet. I had 23 names to locate. They were buddies from my LRRP/Ranger unit that were KIA while I was in-country. My wife Sandy and I were able to sit on the ground in front of each grouping of names and talk about what happened. Seeing the names grouped together brought back memories of each mission in vivid detail. I began to weep and had a hard time getting my emotions under control. My heart ached for those guys and their families. The original intent of the trip was to see the awesomeness of The Wall and try to find some closure for myself. It actually helped me realize I could no longer ‘keep the lid on my box of stuff’ and that I needed professional help.”

–Dennis McLaughlin

The Wall

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