Children & Families

Every day, a Military Caregiver serves our nation. A wife, a husband, a parent, a friend, or even a child is helping their Wounded Warrior accomplish everyday tasks, something many of us take for granted.

Over a million of these Military Caregivers are day-in and day-out providing emotional and physical support to our American heroes. These caregivers are America’s hidden heroes.

“When one person joins, the whole family serves” is a common saying among military personnel. Over two million children in the United States have had a parent deployed to active military duty since the start of the Global War on Terrorism. According to the Department of Defense, there are more than 1.3 million military children that are school age. 

Life altering disabilities including PTSD and TBI are not death sentences for veterans or first-responders. But it can be a life sentence for their families. 

The Department of Veterans Affairs' National Center for PTSD has termed distress, depression and anxiety experienced by families, children and loved ones as "secondary PTSD". Secondary PTSD left untreated can often result in an inability to cope with the anger of others, the development of physical pain, and frequent illness.

Children with secondary PTSD can develop problems with self-esteem and self-confidence and grow up timid and shy and fearful. They can develop an over-attachment to one parent and fear that something will happen and they will be left in the care of the parent with PTSD. They will sometimes have problems with anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and suicidal thoughts.

It is our belief that companion, skilled companion, and service animals can be the life-saving therapy or friend that many Veterans, First-Responders, and their families need. 

Skilled Assistance and Companion Dogs often service the whole family.  These special dogs provide:

  • Relief from feelings of isolation.
  • An increased sense of well-being.
  • Daily structure and healthy habits.
  • An increased sense of security and sense of self-esteem.
  • An increased sense of purpose.
  • Mood improvement and increased optimism.
  • A secure and uncomplicated relationship.
  • A dependable and predictable love, affection and nonjudgmental companionship.
  • Motivation to exercise.
  • Encouragement for social interactions.
  • Reduction in debilitating symptoms.
  • Around-the-clock support.

While Skilled Assistance and Companion Dogs are not a substitute for doctors, therapists and supportive family members and friends; they can become an integral part of a family.  The relationship that a dog can offer is unique because it is deep and loving, yet uncomplicated, consistent, and safe from the possibility of rejection.

To date, there are volumes of scientific data that suggests that dogs positively influence us on psychological and physiological levels. It is no mystery why dogs are called “man’s best friend”. 

A Skilled Assistance or Companion Dog just might be the missing member of your loved one’s family.