Veterans may have returned from fighting in foreign wars, but the war continues inside them.
Vets are now finding an unexpected friendship that is helping them deal with the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Service dogs make a huge difference in this healing process.
Veterans have found relief from various PTSD symptoms, including insomnia, chest pains etc. and have been sleeping better because the dogs will intervene if they sense that their owner is in distress.
Denise Wenz is a 51-year-old National Guard veteran and she has been with her dog Echo, a German shepherd, since her 10 years in the military.
“Dogs can smell the chemical changes when veterans start triggering,” Wenz said. “She sometimes knows I’m triggering before I do.”
Wenz has helped other veterans with service dogs and is planning to coach another veteran and his Labrador retriever and train a golden retriever for another veteran this year.
Lucas Solie, a retired staff sergeant veteran speaks of his experience with his service dog.
“When I met her, she kept looking at me, and I stared back at her. When I looked away, she came over, sat between my legs and licked my chin.”
“It’s me learning her as much as it’s her learning me.”