June 27th is National PTSD Awareness Day, making it an ideal time to put the condition in the spotlight. According to the American Psychiatric Association, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects around 3.5% of the adult population yearly. They estimate that 1 in every 11 people will be diagnosed with it during their lifetime, with veterans suffering from PTSD at a much higher rate. There are various ways to cope with the condition, and one organization is helping do just that by pairing veterans with PTSD with service dogs, having given hundreds of trained dogs to veterans to date.
“Veterans tend to suffer from PTSD at a significantly higher rate than the general population,” says Robert Misseri, co-founder of Paws of War. “This reminds us that freedom isn’t free. Many military members develop PTSD while on deployment and the effects come home with them. We are doing everything we can to help them through our many support programs. These veterans come home to a new war, this time the war is with PTSD.”
Since being founded in 2014, Paws of War has been rescuing dogs from kill shelters and providing them with the necessary training. They are paired with veterans, many with PTSD. Those who receive the dogs report that they provide them with more independence and help with their PTSD and quality of life. For some veterans, the dog is literally a lifesaver. Many tell Paws of War, that they are alive today because of their dog
Most people with PTSD avoid putting themselves in a position that may remind them of the traumatic event. They also try to avoid any thoughts or feelings that are associated with it, which may lead to them changing their routine, being tense or on guard, having difficulty concentrating and sleeping, and being irritable or having aggressive outbursts. Those with PTSD also tend to lose interest in activities they once enjoyed, feel isolated, and find it difficult to be happy.
The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs reports that:
- Recovery from PTSD is a process rather than something that happens overnight
- Healing from PTSD is an ongoing daily process, with improvements being made a little at a time
- Healing from PTSD should lead to fewer symptoms, more confidence to cope with the condition and feelings, and use of a variety of coping strategies
“We like to say that we help at both ends of the leash,” added Misseri. “PTSD is an important issue that more people need to know about so that we can help our veterans who suffer from it.”
Paws of War is currently helping a veteran and a firefighter, Rob and Russel, who are both heroes that suffer from PTSD. Unfortunately, they both know all too well what it’s like to suffer from it. Purple Heart recipient and U.S Marine, Russel Anderson and fire fighter Rob Weisberg are working hard to get the message out so others who are suffering don’t have to suffer alone.
Russel came back from Afghanistan not the same person who left, and Rob was never the same after his heroic service at ground zero on 9/11.
Rob Weisberg has started a six-month journey to walk from Georgia to Maine to spread awareness for PTSD and to help his fellow brothers and sisters, who need help getting a service dog and in support of Paws of War.
Russel Anderson recently received a service dog in training and is spreading awareness to other combat veterans who are suffering like he was to educate them about what a service animal can do for them, and the services that Paws of War can provide. This is a critical time to strike because many of these veterans and first responders are suffering in silence. And they don’t want to waste a second getting the message out.
To help support the mission in helping veterans with PTSD, visit: https://pawsofwar.org/?form=PTSD
Paws of War has been operating nationwide since 2014, and worldwide helping the military save the animals they rescue while deployed overseas. They have helped veterans with numerous issues, including suicide prevention, service and support dogs, companion cats and dogs, food insecurity, veterinary care, etc. Paws of War has a large loyal following of supporters and looks forward to working with new corporate sponsors to support these life-saving programs. To donate, visit its site at: http://pawsofwar.org.
Cher Murphy is a Top PR Executive and brings with her a wealth of experience to her writing covering a variety of interesting fields. As an expert in public relations, she works with clients in some of the most popular sectors. With a nose for news and a gift of professional presentation, she is able to deliver high-quality, entertaining, and interesting stories on a regular basis.
Over the years, she has worked with media outlets such as Forbes, USA Today, Fox News, Today Show, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Washington Post, L.A. Times, U.S. News & World Report, Wall Street Journal, and Consumer Reports among others. In the media world, her name has become synonymous with stories that keep consumers engaged, entertained, and interested.