Letter from a Veteran and His Service Dog
Dear Charlie Annenberg (founder of Dog Bless You),
I have been the proud keeper of a beautiful black Labrador for the last several months; this has been the courtesy of Soldier’s Best Friend through their work with PTSD patients. It’s my understanding he is about 2.5 years old.
I don’t really know how to write this letter but I think the best way is from my heart: THANK YOU!
I cannot begin to tell you what this dog (I named him Sundance) means to me. I’m a Vietnam-era veteran and as such did not know I was even suffering from PTSD; actually I don’t think the term had been created yet. I served about two years with the U.S. Army up on the DMZ with North Korea in Army Intelligence. It appears my troubles began during these years and after my military service I entered Colorado State University. I graduated there but it was quite a struggle.
I struggled with personal relationships also. But to make a long story short I eventually visited with a psychiatrist in the early 90’s. He had spent time over in Vietnam himself helping young soldiers get through their depression. It did not take him long to diagnose me with PTSD. Every psychiatrist (including the VA) has said the same thing.
How does Sundance help me? Well, for one thing there is unconditional love and although we are still in training he will definitely help me within crowded situations. He fetches things around the house and other chores and I have to tell you we are real “buddies.” Sundance is a wonderfully bred dog; gentle but protective and all with a smile on his face.
But enough about me - when I heard the history of Sundance, I was overwhelmed by the person-to-person generosity you have displayed. It is simply exemplary and I congratulate you on your humanity. The world is a better place because of your existence.
You and I will probably never meet but let me tell you what a wonderful role model you are.
May I live up to your standard!