Founded by combat veterans, The Battle Buddy Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, dedicated to helping combat veterans transition back to civilian life while living with the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injury and other combat related disabilities.
The Battle Buddy Foundation’s Executive Director and Co-Founder Kenny Bass is a disabled Marine combat veteran from the Iraq War. He served with the Marine infantry, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, for the first 8 months of the war in 2003. On July 20th 2003, he was wounded during a counter-ambush patrol, where he was hit with an IED. He has since suffered Post Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injury, hearing loss, Behcet’s Disease, and multiple other physical injuries due to his combat service since 2003.
After spending over 8 years in various treatment programs through the Veterans Administration (VA) system, Kenny found himself taking over thirty pills a day, and still struggling with a steadily decreasing quality of life. After raising concerns about the high number of medications Kenny was on, his treating physician at the VA prescribed a service dog, hoping this last resort treatment could make the difference needed. While the VA was willing to write the prescription, Kenny was left on his own to find an organization to assist him; the VA does not cover any part of the acquisition or training of a service animal. After struggling to come up with the $15,000 he was charged for his service dog, Atlas, Kenny decided that no other veteran should have to deal with those struggles. With the help of Marine combat veteran Joshua Rivers, President of TBBF, their combined vision to create The Battle Buddy Foundation came to fruition in February 2013.
The Battle Buddy Foundation was founded with the combined mission of assisting veterans, of all eras, in the acquisition of service dogs, while providing a network of peer support and activity, and promoting education and awareness of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), the current veteran suicide epidemic, and the live saving benefits of highly trained service dogs.
A comprehensive study completed and published by the Veterans Administration in 2012 indicates an average of 22 veterans are committing suicide every single day. The invisible wounds of war are as real as any and currently there is a severe lack of funding and assistance available through traditional resources. With the current veteran suicide epidemic, The Battle Buddy Foundation is dedicated to bridging that gap so that no veteran is left behind.
The Battle Buddy Foundation accomplishes all of this with absolutely no cost to the veteran because of generous sponsors, donors, and the incredible support at our fundraising events.
Official Mission Statement:
Founded by veterans to serve veterans, we exist to effect long-term and tangible change in the lives of veterans and their families. We ensure veterans and their families receive programs and services that help them acclimate back to family and civilian life.
We accomplish this by:
- Providing elite service dogs to disabled veterans of all eras suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injury and physical limitations, at no cost to the veteran
- Building a community of peer support for veterans and their families through programs, events and social media
- Providing education and awareness to the public and private sectors pertaining to service dog law and etiquette, the rights of disabled veterans and other issues facing our veteran community