When veterans return home from combat, they may often have difficulties adapting back to civilian life. As a result, many have turned to service dogs as a means of helping them cope, and found a fruitful relationship with that animal that can significantly help them in their everyday lives.
Anecdotally, service dogs are particularly good for veterans who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, which often goes undiagnosed but which obviously has very real consequences for those grappling with it, according to a report from Chicago Now. However, the VA no longer provides assistance to veterans who want service dogs, citing a lack of concrete evidence that they help in a tangible way. Unfortunately, that may leave many veterans in a tough position.
"We have the technology to rebuild body parts of injured veterans, artificial hands and legs; but no technology to deal with PTSD," Tracy Libby, author of a book about real-life service dogs and their owners, told the publication.
Fortunately, though, there are multiple organizations that exist specifically to help connect veterans with dogs that have been, or can be, trained to play the service dog role, the report said. The reason this kind of assistance is so important is that while many dogs may be perfectly capable of going through the training, the classes are not cheap and therefore may be very difficult for veterans to afford on their own.
The more veterans who are having various difficulties in their lives can do to reach out for help of any kind, the better off they're likely to be when it comes to dealing with civilian life once again. Many organizations exist to help veterans in a number of ways, and simply seeking them out can be an important first step.