Duke: We’re inseparable

I’m a combat disabled veteran who served 8 years in the United States Marine Corps and very proud of that fact. I have overcome many challenges in my life from childhood to serving my country to transitioning into the civilian world. It was my last deployment in 2009-2010 that really sent me in a downward spiral and coming home to my mother passing away a few months after. I was lost and too prideful to ask for help. I stepped up to the plate so to speak and realized this is the life I have to live with; I need to find ways to improve it because I have so many counting on me. I have been to multiple treatment places and talked to many doctors and have the pill bottles to prove it. I never wanted my life to be consumed by taking pills to feel whole again. I reached out to my Combat causality nurses with the Navy Marine Corp Relief Society and asked about the option of a service dog. I have always been a dog guy and it seemed every time I would go to a friend’s house their dog or dogs would always be drawn to me. It made me feel peaceful to have that type of connection. I got word that I could start training with PAWS Training Centers and I was on cloud nine. The search for my best friend started. I knew this would be difficult but I was ready for the challenge. My boss and his wife had just rescued a puppy named Duke and I had already grown to love this puppy, so they let him come live with me. We have been inseparable since day one. He is well known at work because he goes everywhere with me. I’m so grateful for the PAWS staff and Patsy for helping train me so Duke and I can become a working team. This is my short story and I hope more people can benefit from this great organization.