Paws for Purple Heart lend support to their fellow Veterans…
An Article from the Village Connector, written by Tammy Bowers:
Paws for Purple Heart lend support to their fellow Veterans…in companionship, lifelong friendships and Hearts of Gold…
Paws for Purple Hearts (PPH) is the first program of its kind to offer therapeutic intervention for Veterans and active-duty military personnel by teaching those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to train service dogs for their comrades with combat-related physical disabilities. PPH is built upon the trusted and time-honored tradition of Veterans helping Veterans.
Founded in 2006 as a program of California’s Bergin College of Canine Studies, Paws for Purple Hearts has operated its intensive training programs at four locations throughout the United States: Palo Alto/Menlo Park VA Medical Center (California), Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (Bethesda, Maryland), the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (Bethesda, Maryland), and Fort Belvoir (Virginia).
Under the guidance of PPH instructors, Service Members engage with specially-bred Golden and Labrador Retriever puppies. Together they undergo an intensive 18-to-24-month service dog training regimen—learning more than 90 commands–while the Veterans reintegrate into civilian life. Once training is complete, the service dogs are given to Veterans who have sustained mobility-limiting injuries. These service dogs reside for the rest of their lives with their new owners. Since PPH’s inception, service dog training and connections have directly impacted hundreds of Veterans’ lives.
For those men and women suffering from PTSD, the very process of training the puppies results in therapeutic benefits which can include:
- less anxiety and depression
- decreased dependence upon pain medications
- greater sociability and a more positive outlook a mission-driven focus and renewed sense of purpose.
To those with combat disabilities, receiving a fully-trained service dog means having a new steadfast companion and a true partner in their recovery. It also translates to greater independence, as PPH dogs help out by performing tasks like picking up dropped items, tugging open and closing doors, and switching on lights. And the dogs? They benefit from loving homes and the positive reinforcement received for playing such important roles in the well-being of their owners. The Paws for Purple Hearts program embodies our motto: Veterans helping Veterans.
For additional information and how you can lend support or financial assistance be sure to contact Robert W. Porter – Executive Director & CEO – Paws for Purple Hearts – 202.681.9575 – www.pawsforpurplehearts.org
Tammy Bowers is a Charter Member and Community Reporter with the Village Connector Community News. She is the Co-Owner of Rolling Ads of Maryland, a unique branding company as well as an Outdoor Mobile Billboard Advertising Vehicle. She is also the Owner ofInspiring Hearts LLC, a boutique specializing with handcrafted and uniquely designed items that are motivational and inspirational. You can reach Tammy at 410-615-4117 or 410-812-6024 or via email at [email protected].
Link to the article: http://villageconnector.com/howardcountymd/2012/01/paws-for-purple-hearts/