Currently, there are an average of twenty-two Veterans, and one active duty member, taking his or her own life each day, due, in part, to the effects of combat injuries. The Battle Buddy Foundation (TBBF) is dedicated to reducing these numbers to zero. How? As its first and prime program, TBBF is focused on providing psychiatric and mobility service dogs for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
With continuing and adequate funding, TBBF is able to supply psychiatric and mobility service dogs to veterans, at no cost to the veteran. A psychiatric and mobility service dog becomes the veteran’s ‘battle buddy’. The effective training of the service dog and veteran as a team, in turn helps the veteran cope with symptoms of PTSD. The highly trained psychiatric and mobility service dog assists a veteran to assimilate back into the civilian world and reduces the intensity of the PTSD, which results in a higher quality of life for the veteran and their family.
Secondly, by recognizing and understanding the issues specific to PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), other combat related injuries, and the military experience, TBBF can focus on providing programs specifically addressing these issues. PTSD affects each veteran differently: through TBBF centers, veterans can take advantage of counseling, fellowship with other veterans, family counseling, and other programs tailored to the individual’s needs.
The Battle Buddy Foundation’s Founder, and Executive Director, 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 suffered PTSD, hearing loss, Behcet’s Disease, and multiple other physical injuries due to his combat service since 2003.
In 2012, after being prescribed a service dog to mitigate his PTSD symptoms, Kenny began the process of trying to find an organization to obtain a service dog. While in the process of raising the funds for his service dog, Kenny contacted an old friend and Marine, Joshua Rivers. Kenny and Joshua had been close friends since serving together in Iraq in 2003. After discussing the resources and options available at the time, Kenny and Joshua realized the necessity for an organization like TBBF. Veterans deserve an organization that can place them with a certified and trained PTSD service dog; without burdening them with the financial impact most veterans simply cannot afford, or the geographic restrictions that most of the existing organizations have. It quickly became evident that placing veterans with psychiatric and mobility service dogs was only one aspect of the healing process necessary to help veterans with PTSD and TBI. Working together with Joshua, and Kenny’s brother and co-founder, Jon Campbell, The Battle Buddy Foundation was born. The Battle Buddy Foundation exists to meet the veteran wherever they may be in their healing process, and utilize this personal experience to offer the most ‘veteran centered’ programs possible.
“I believe the duty of combat veterans continues for life. However, after returning home, the mission turns from the battlefield to helping our fellow Veterans cope with the experiences they lived. It is our responsibility to help our fellow Veterans return to the best physical and mental form possible. As veterans, my co-founder and I come from a perspective of the client. We have been through the same struggles and understand the system. Putting the veteran’s needs first is the priority. It was, is, and always will be our number one priority.” – Joshua Rivers, Founder/President
Source: SCV News
Written By: SCV Digital Staff