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Veteran battling PTSD learns to cope with help from service dog
January 4, 2015
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. Veterans and American soldiers are battling a serious mental health problem, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), that some believe needs more awareness. Here in the Tennessee Valley, John Goodman decided he needed to do something to cope with PTSD so he turned to man's best friend.
Goodman served 12 year veteran in the Air Force and took several tours including Afghanistan, when he was diagnosed with PTSD. He says medication didn't help much and he became suicidal. He then did research on ways to cope with the mental illness and discovered service dogs.
Goodman says his life changed for the better two years ago when he met ,Juno, a specially trained German shepherd. Since then, he says his life has change. "I got off medication and turned my life around just with the help of a dog,"added Goodman. Juno can sense anxiety and she is trained to wake him up from nightmares. She even know when he's stressed or tensed.
Now, Goodman has started his own non-profit program, Scars and Stripes, to help other veterans suffering from PTSD. Goodman says since the majority of veterans end up paying out of pocket for service animals, he decided to raise awareness about mental health while providing dogs and training. He hopes his efforts will save other veterans, "I wanna try and help stop that as much as possible because I truly care about my brothers at arms," added Goodman.
To learn more about Stars and Stripes, click here.