K9s For Warriors Project
Since 9/11 and the resulting conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan there are over 500 thousand disabled military warriors. One in five suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. One in six will attempt or commit suicide. Symptoms of PTSD are mental changes, including, but not limited to; hostility, aggression, depression, suicide, paranoia, acrophobia, nightmares, panic attacks, poor coping skills, memory loss, and lack of trust. PTSD affects not only the warriors but their families and the workplace. Studies have proven there are actual physical changes in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex of the brain adding to the horrific war experiences that warriors have endured.
Service canines are a medically proven recovery aid for our warriors suffering from PTSD. Service canines are considered medical equipment and are recognized by the U. S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, and the American disability act of 1990.
At K9s For Warriors, our philosophy is to involve the veteran in the training of their new service canine partner, allowing them the opportunity to be part of the solution to their recovery. Our academy is staffed by skilled certified canine handlers and trainers. Each academy is three weeks in length where the warrior learns the skills needed to train their own canines. We provide a service canine, training, certification, equipment, seminars, vet care, most meals, and housing, free of change. Each warrior is responsible for their own transportation to and from our facility which is located in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Classes are limited to three to five warriors in each session.
K9s For Warriors is supported by The Wounded Warrior Project, Birdies for the Brave, Warrior Gateway, and many other military organizations. We highly recommend each applicant contact one of our many alumni to hear for themselves the positive recovery changes after attending our Academy. We feel the best way to gain the knowledge of our methods, and training techniques is to talk to fellow Veterans for their recommendations. K9s For Warriors will provide such information upon request.
K9s For Warriors will be accepting over thirty warriors for our Academy in a calendar year. Our goal is to help our warriors return to civilian life with dignity and independence. They fought for our tomorrows, we will fight for theirs.
Copyright 2012 by News4Jax.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.