In PAALS Patriots active duty military service members and veterans with clinically diagnosed combat related anxiety disorders learn the basics of service dog training, community service needs, body language behavior, canine care and enrichment all while pairing up to train service dog candidates for others in need. Therapeutic components of the program include learning behavior modification in a way that helps participants understand themselves and their anxiety issues more deeply, thus allowing them an opportunity to apply some principles in their own lives and by being able to help other veterans. The participants gain greater self-esteem, confidence and sense of competence. The first PAALS Patriots program ran in the summer of 2011 at Fort Jackson. PAALS is now planning to offer a true therapeutic program with a PTSD specialist as part of an in-patient group therapy at the hospital on Fort Jackson.
Any interested soldiers or veterans should contact Jen Rogers at [email protected].
You can help support PAALS Patriots by donating to Rob’s Best Friend Fund.