More soldiers died of suicide in 2012 than died in combat in Afghanistan in 2012. The trajectory for soldier suicides keeps getting worse. Northwest Battle Buddies is saving lives one trained dog and combat veteran pair at a time. Shannon Walker, Founder of Northwest Battle Buddies, along with Vietnam Veteran Randy Guillory (US Marine Corps) and Desert Storm Veteran, Shawn Brooks(US Navy), joined us today to share how service dogs can help veterans heal.
Northwest Battle Buddies provides a solution for veterans suffering from PTSD, Depression or TBI. Master Trainer Shannon Walker and her team, work to pair rescued dogs with qualified returned combat veterans and train them to work together. The pairing of dogs with returned combat veterans adds purpose, focus and stability that is proven to decrease the number of suicides and supports the veteran as they return to a life that is forever changed. These teams learn how to navigate social situations and crowds and gain independence while doing so.
There is no cost to the veteran. This non- profit 501(3) organization seeks funding through donations from large organizations, individuals and fund raisers.
? Training service dogs costs $12,000 per finished dog and team.
? Fund raisers, individual donations and corporate sponsors are necessary.
? The Heathman Lodge (Vancouver, WA) will host events today and tomorrow which include dinner, beer and wine tasting , silent and live auctions
? Special Guest Fmr Capt. Luis Carlos Montalvan, the New York Times bestselling author of "Until Tuesday": and his service dog/companion "Tuesday" will speak and sign books on today and tomorrow.
? Private reception (Private estate in Battleground) with Fmr Capt. Luis Carlos Montalvan in a beautiful local estate, will complete the 3 day fund raising event.
? His experience expresses the importance of the service dog in supporting the life of the returned combat veteran with his own personal experiences retold.
For more information contact Shannon Walker 360-601-9744 or visit their website at northwestbattlebuddies.org