INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Veteran Harry Mann says it’s hard to remember what life was like before his service dog Raymundo.
“He’s my best friend. He’s always with me,” he explained.
His wounds from deployment were never visible on the outside, but they kept him from living the life he deserved. Mann, like so many other veterans, struggled with PTSD and anxiety, and it affected everyday activities.
“I would go to work, come home, go to work, come home, that’s it,” Mann said.
That was until his wife found out about K9s for Warriors, a nonprofit that gives veterans service dogs for free.
With nothing to lose, the couple filled out the application. And then they waited... until one day, Mann got a call from a Warrior trainer who found the perfect dog that met his needs.
“We use dogs primarily from the shelter. Very rarely is there a puppy-raised dog or a dog donated from a breeder,” explained K9 for Warrior trainer Greg Wells.
There are requirements to be accepted into the program. You must be a veteran, who served after 9/11 and either struggling with PTSD, military sexual trauma, or a traumatic brain injury.
The nonprofit is funded through private donations and grants.