My Husband, Ed, is a Gulf War veteran, and newly retired Police officer. He has struggled for years with PTSD in dysfunctional ways. He never wanted to admit to having PTSD. The stigma that comes along with it is something he didn't want, especially being a police officer. He was the hero. He was invincible. He was the one who answered the call for 911 to help someone at their worst. In his mind, he didn't need help. Ed hit rock bottom shortly before retirement. It was a battle that he just couldn't fight on his own anymore and let others in to help him. He was finally ready to admit that he had PTSD and he needed more help then the path of self destruction that he was headed down. His demons almost won a few times and took Ed away from our family for good. Luckily we got him the help he needed, and we also reached out to an organization that provided him with a fully trained service dog.
Ed received Rex in May, 2015, and it has dramatically changed his life. Rex is a 3 year old Belgian Malinios. He is there for Ed when I can't be. he gives him the love and companionship that only a dog can. He can sense the PTSD storm brewing, and will jump up and offer tons of sloppy dog licks. He will distract Ed and bring his attention to playing or simply putting a paw on him to let him know he is there. Life since Rex is amazing and we as a family get out more than we used to. Ed feels more confident to navigate the public world with Rex by his side and it has taken a little worry and stress off of me.
We have realized how much Rex has saved Ed that we want to pay that forward. We have started Soldiers 6 as our way of giving back the miracle gift that was given to us. Military and police officers are #1 and #2 respectively on the list of professions with the highest suicide rate. Knowing my husband had a career in both, the odds were stacked against him. This is our driving force to help. Having this organization is healing for Ed. It gives him a chance to still be helping others, just not in a military or police uniform.
Soldiers 6 will provide a fully trained service dog to a police officer or honorably discharged military veteran residing in Minnesota at no cost to them. We want to give to another family the life saving gift that was provided to ours.