Palmetto, FL – November 8, 2021 – Serving our country requires honor, selflessness and courage. Sometimes it takes even more courage to ask for help. As the nation honors these heroes this Veterans Day, Southeastern Guide Dogs extends recognition and support to veterans all year long through the help of service dogs.
Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other disabilities often live in isolation and depression, but they don’t have to. A highly trained service dog can restore one’s wellbeing. These four-legged heroes learn more than 20 cues to aid with PTSD, seizure response and mobility issues. Handpicked for their confidence and calmness, these dogs help veterans take back their lives by replacing despair with hope, freedom, unconditional love, and that “battle buddy” they may be missing in their world.
Bob Macpherson is one of these veterans. After 30 years in the Marines and a career as the head of a humanitarian assistance company working in countries from Bosnia to Syria, Macpherson lives with PTSD. After admitting he needed help, Macpherson applied for a service dog and was matched with Blue.
“PTSD is a soul-crushing illness, dragging its victims into nightmarish voids of shame, fear and chaos,” shares Macpherson. “Blue has guided me back to a path of renewed engagement in life and calmness that has made me a better person. With him, I found the freedom and creativity to embrace life rather than endure it.”
Blue is one of many service dogs to help mitigate the symptoms of PTSD for his handler. Every day across the country, service dogs are helping those who served in our nation’s military. In addition to service dogs, Southeastern Guide Dogs provides Gold Star Family dogs to military families who have lost a loved one in the line of duty, and facility therapy dogs who provide therapeutic services to veterans and families being treated in military medical facilities and working in high-stress environments across the nation.
All dogs and services at Southeastern Guide Dogs are provided at no cost to recipients thanks to an extensive network of donors. For more information on the veteran programs, visit www.GuideDogs.org
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About Southeastern Guide Dogs
Southeastern Guide Dogs transforms lives by creating and nurturing extraordinary partnerships between people and dogs. Our organization operates the most advanced training facilities of any service dog organization in the world. Our experts breed, raise, and train elite working dogs—including guide dogs, service dogs, and skilled companion dogs—and provide life-changing services for people with vision loss, veterans with disabilities, and children with significant challenges such as vision loss or the loss of a parent in the military. Southeastern Guide Dogs has successfully created thousands of guide dog and service dog teams throughout the United States since our inception in 1982.
All of our services—which include state-of-the-art research on canine health and development; selective breeding; expert dog training; comprehensive on-campus student instruction; and the most robust alumni support program in North America—are provided at no cost to recipients. We rely 100% on private donations. Southeastern Guide Dogs has the distinction of being dually accredited by the two premier, global accreditation bodies: the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International. Learn more at www.GuideDogs.org.