When in a combat environment, certain characteristics can be lifesaving and necessary; hypervigilance, “battlemind”, and the immediate response of overwhelming firepower to a perceived threat, prove to their value many times in combat — but they can be tougher to let go, once returning home.
Turning down the intensity of these symptoms is a key part of treatment for combat related post traumatic stress, and one of the most beneficial ways a ‘battle buddy’ service dog relates to their veteran partners.
Like all service dogs, a psychiatric service dog is individually trained to do work or perform tasks that mitigate their handler’s disability.
Training to mitigate a psychiatric disability such as Post Traumatic Stress may include providing environmental assessment (in such cases as hypervigilance or hallucinations), signaling behaviors (such as interrupting repetitive behaviors or increasing anger), waking from nightmares, posting and watching a handlers back in open areas, alerting to and redirecting anger and flashbacks, reminding the handler to take medication daily at specific times, retrieving objects, guiding the handler from stressful situations, or acting as a brace if the handler becomes dizzy.
Not to mention, how the battle buddy service dog acts as a conduit for social interaction, many times helping to break trends of social isolation. Eliciting friendly smiles, and conversation from strangers in place of the common indifference shown to total strangers without a service dog at their side.
Many combat veterans would agree, “We were trained to go to combat, to turn on that ‘kill switch’ and to not only survive, but thrive in a combat zone. The problem is that we were not properly trained how to turn it back off, and reintegrate ourselves back into a peaceful society.” A service dog can be that loyal battle buddy, retraining alongside their veteran on a daily basis back out in society together, both working towards a common mission.
Please consider supporting The Battle Buddy Foundation, and join us in our mission to serve our nation’s heroes.
Your support will provide our disabled veterans with a new mission, training alongside their battle buddy for nearly a year, and the opportunity to participate in family friendly community events to help facilitate a community of veterans and their families and help to promote social reintegration. You’ll help provide a loyal battle buddy to enrich their lives, the lives of their family, and to support their veteran through the difficult ups and downs in a life of healing, after combat.
Make a tax deductible donation today at:
Contributions can be mailed to our offices at:
The Battle Buddy Foundation
8859 Cincinnati-Dayton Rd Suite 202
West Chester, OH 45069