May 23, 2012

Help A Veteran Get A PTSD Service Dog

Jeremy Brockway was a corporal in the United States Marine Corps. During his time in Iraq, he witnessed and participated in many traumatizing incidents. Although Brockway was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and severe depression, the military prepared to send him back to Iraq.

Knowing that he would likely not survive another deployment, Jeremy and his wife, Ashlea, sought refuge in Canada. You can a lot more about Jeremy's background and his slow process of healing here.

The Brockways are currently trying to raise funds to adopt a PTSD service dog named Buddha to help Jeremy cope with everyday life.

My partner, Laura, interviewed Ashlea about what Buddha is trained to do:
One of the major issues with PTSD is that people have a hard time being grounded - knowing that they are here, in the present, that they're safe, without their mind taking them back to the traumatizing experience. This dog will be trained in something called "deep pressure therapy". He'll push up against Jeremy's legs, pretty much all the time. When they're walking outside in public, or when they're home together, he will be pushing on Jeremy, and that physical feeling will help Jeremy focus and be present, help ground him.

Buddha will sleep in the same room as Jeremy. If Jeremy starts to have a night terror, Buddha will help to wake Jeremy, and then he'll crawl up onto Jeremy and provide the deep pressure therapy - and be there for support, so Jeremy can pet Buddha to help himself calm down.

Out in public, Jeremy can feel overwhelmed. And if you're overwhelmed and in a crowd, everything can go blurry, and you can start to have a panic attack. Buddha will be trained with a one-word command, to find a route out of the crowd, and lead Jeremy to a place that's quiet, so Jeremy can get refocused and calm down. ...

Jeremy has often said, "It's going to take a miracle to make me better. Only a miracle will get me out of this." After the first time we met Buddha, Jeremy told me that maybe this dog is his miracle. That really had an impact on me. It made me think this is what Jeremy needs and will respond to.
If you have been around dogs of any kind, you know how comforting and calming and loving they can be. I hope you'll help Jeremy with whatever you can. Any amount, even $5, will bring Buddha a little closer to the Brockway family. Thank you very much.


mattymatty said...

How could I resist that picture?

allan said...

Thanks, matty.

laura k said...

Thanks to the JoSers who have donated!

laura k said...

More JoS donations have come in. Very cool.