Best Friends in War and Peace
“Since 1999, dogs at Walter Reed Army Medical Center -- and now at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Fort Belvoir and Fort Meade -- have helped hundreds of wounded warriors in countless ways, and they continue to do so.
“The U.S. Army program is unique. Wounded warriors receive help while they work to train dogs who will one day be full-service mobility dogs for other wounded veterans.
The dogs in training learn over 60 tasks, and when they are 2 years old, they pair up with a wounded veteran to assist in daily life activities.
“Wounded soldiers are selected to work in the U.S. Army's Warrior Transition Brigade (WTB) Service Dog Training Program under the Northern Regional Medical Command during their recovery from catastrophic injuries, such as the loss of a limb.
"The dogs do have a fantastic way of being able to be a physical and emotional support for the soldiers," says Maeve Carey, an occupational therapist and rehabilitation manager at the WTB at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.
Carey says the program helps soldiers overcome certain anxieties. It also helps them integrate into the community again.”
posted by Harrison at 12:14 PM