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Train a Dog Save a Warrior

<br>Could four-legged friends be the best prescription for troops with PTSD?

CONSTANT GUNFIRE, MAYHEM, AND DEATH...FOR TROOPS WHO SAW ACTION IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN, WHEN THE DUST SETTLES THE NERVES DON'T ALWAYS FOLLOW.

WHILE THE BATTLEFIELD IS CAUSING TENS-OF-THOUSANDS OF PHYSICAL INJURIES, IT'S ALSO RESULTED IN AN OVERWHELMING NUMBER OF PSYCHOLOGICAL SCARS.

WAR IS TOUGH AND COMING HOME CAN BE TOUGH AS WELL.

Sergeant Michael Bossio, who has PTSD, says "I really get overwhelmed really easy. I just explode."

THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS REPORTS IN 2012, MORE THAN HALF A MILLION VETERANS WERE TREATED FOR P-T-S-D. CLOSE TO 120-THOUSAND SERVED IN IRAQ OR AFGHANISTAN. MANY ARE PRESCRIBED DRUGS LIKE ZOLOFT OR PAXIL.

BUT SERGEANT MICHAEL BOSSIO SAYS HARLEY IS THE BEST MEDICINE.

Bossio: "He helps ease my anxiety when, when we're out in public."

VIETNAM VET WILLIE CALHOUN SAYS BEFORE HE HAD CHELSIE HE WAS ON HIGH DOSES OF FOUR P-T-S-D DRUGS. WITH HER, HE'S DOWN TO ONE.

SO WHY DO THE DOGS MAKE SUCH A DIFFERENCE FOR THE VETS? THE TRUTH IS THE RESEARCH IS SEVERELY LACKING.

Bart Sherwood, who is the program director for Train a Dog Save a Warrior says, "It's faith based evidence and the military and the government don't like faith based evidence."

THE V-A STARTED A FIRST OF ITS KIND STUDY ON P-T-S-D SERVICE DOGS, BUT ENROLLMENT WAS SUSPENDED LAST YEAR. A SPOKESMAN TELLS US THE V-A "IS WORKING TO DEVELOP A NEW PLAN TO CARRY OUT THIS RESEARCH, POTENTIALLY IN MULTIPLE LOCATIONS." UNTIL THE EVIDENCE IS CONFIRMED BY SCIENCE, THE V-A WILL NOT REIMBURSE VETS SPECIFICALLY WITH MENTAL CONDITIONS LIKE P-T-S-D FOR THEIR SERVICE DOG'S VETERINARY CARE, TRAVEL EXPENSES, OR ANYTHING ELSE. EVEN WITHOUT SCIENTIFIC PROOF, THE IMPACT OF THE PUPS IS CLEAR TO THESE VETS.

Sherwood: "It's good to be out and about."

THE AMERICAN HUMANE SOCIETY AND U-S SENATOR CHARLES SCHUMER OF NEW YORK ARE URGING THE GOVERNMENT TO REIMBURSE VETS WITH P-T-S-D FOR SERVICE DOG-RELATED COSTS. MEANWHILE, TRAIN A DOG SAVE A WARRIOR IS ONE OF MANY P-T-S-D SERVICE DOG ORGANIZATIONS ACROSS THE U-S.

OFFICIALS SAY IN MANY CASES THEY CAN TRAIN A VET'S EXISTING FAMILY DOG TO BE A SERVICE ANIMAL, AS LONG AS IT HAS THE RIGHT TEMPERAMENT.

IT ALSO TRAINS RESCUED DOGS FOR THE PROGRAM.

FOR MORE INFORMATION GO TO http://tadsaw.org

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