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Soldier’s Best Friend? Fundraiser for PTSD Dogs

By: Bethany Anderson Email
By: Bethany Anderson Email

(Daleville, AL)- A recent study by the Army shows one in eight soldiers who fought in Iraq, have reported symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. The survey also concludes that less than half of those with mental health issues sought help.

It’s a growing problem that Army Chief Officer Jeff Burkholder hopes he can change. He’s created an online website, www.indiegogo.com/PTSDServiceDog, which raises money for service dogs that are trained to help those suffering from PTSD and traumatic brain injury.

“Veteran’s Affairs only covers the costs of service dogs to help veterans with impaired vision, hearing or mobility, but will not cover canines assigned for mental disabilities,” Burkholder said. “After all the expenses, a custom trained dog costs around $20,000 and due to these high costs only one in six veterans get assigned a PTSD dog because of funding,” he said.

According to the Institute of Medicine, although federal agencies are creating more resources to screen and treat soldiers as they return from warfare, however there are still steps that need to be taken.

“It’s our responsibility to take care of our soldiers, not just when they’re in the service, but when they get out as well,” Burkholder said.

Burkholder is working with other soldiers to create awareness for the cause. They want everyone to know that 100 percent of money raised will go towards service dogs for veterans.

For more information about Burkholder’s cause, log on to wtvy.com and click in the for more info link.


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