Veterans face unique challenges once they return home. Often bearing mental and physical scars of their time in the armed forces, many need physical and emotional rehabilitation. Service animals can be a big part of the process, becoming an essential part of a veteran’s life.
“We see veterans who benefit immensely from using a service dog for physical and emotional support,” says Campbell. “This resonates with our company’s mission of bringing pets and people together to enhance their lives.”
Helping Veterans Realize They Are Not Alone
Operation Enduring Warrior is a nonprofit organization completely run by volunteers. Its programs help veterans overcome hardship through teamwork, innovation, and perseverance.
According to Patrick VanLandingham, Executive Director with Operation Enduring Warrior, the grant will enable the organization to help more veterans.
“The grant will be used for supporting any one of our seven incredible programs,” says VanLandingham. “Every adaptive athlete who enters our organization is allowed to choose the programs in which they wish to participate.”
Some of those programs include skydiving, obstacle racing, and even scuba diving. The impact of these activities can be profound.
Meet Andrew and Gunner
Andrew Einstein can speak to its effect personally. A military veteran who is now a police officer, Einstein’s partner was killed in the line of duty. Devastated, Einstein struggled to continue with daily life.
“I was afraid to ask for help because I thought I’d lose my job,” he says. “Instead, I self-medicated and hid my problems.”
That changed the day he brought home his service dog, Gunner. He had renewed purpose, and he was encouraged to seek help.
He got involved with Operation Enduring Warrior, participating in an obstacle race with Gunner at his side.
“They welcomed me with open arms,” Einstein says. “They understood what I was going through.”
Now, Einstein heads up Operation Enduring Warrior’s skydiving program. He helps other veterans find the freedom he found through the program.
“The great thing about Operation Enduring Warrior is that there is no judgment,” he says. “It means so much to me to be a part of it.”