Washington Salute Recap
Excitement levels were high at Paws for Purple Hearts on Tuesday, September 22, 2020, as our staff logged into their videoconferencing app to join Washington Salute’s virtual Walking Dogs event.
The Washington Salute
The Washington Salute is the official military appreciation program of the Washington Football Team. During the virtual Walking Dogs segment, Paws for Purple Hearts was featured as the Washington Salute’s not-for-profit partner.
In celebration of National Dog Week, our Senior Program Instructors, Alissa Berg and Erica Horn, and National Advancement Officer Kerri Anderson, had the opportunity to chat with Team Guard Wes Martin about the amazing work Paws for Purple Hearts does every day to dramatically improve Warriors’ lives. Wes founded his own 501(c)(3) non-profit dog rescue organization in 2018 and was especially excited to learn more about Paws for Purple Hearts.
Kerri also told Wes about the Paws for Purple Hearts mission – improving the lives of America’s Warriors facing mobility challenges and trauma-related conditions such as PTSD and TBI by providing the highest quality assistance dogs and canine-assisted therapeutic programs; and by building public awareness about the important role dogs play in helping Warriors along the road to recovery.
Alissa and Erica shared their experiences facilitating our innovative Canine-Assisted Warrior Therapy® sessions and talked about how powerful it is when our dogs are placed with Warriors in need.
“It’s bittersweet,” expressed Horn. She talked about how the trainers fall in love with their dogs and put their souls into training them. When the dogs are placed, the trainers know the dogs are fulfilling their purposes.
There were also special guest “a’paw’rences” made by Ozzy, one of our most recently placed Service Dogs, Patsy, a Facility Dog at the Texas Military Department, and Annie, a Service Dog matched in 2017.
Each dog’s partner talked about how their dogs have impacted them. Jeff, Annie’s Battle Buddy, was asked to advise others who were suffering. His advice was to keep hope and don’t give up. “Paws, not pills, that’s what worked for me.”