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Celebrate veterans by understanding the issues they face

Paws of War is a charitable program developed by the Guardians of Rescue that trains service dogs for retired military personnel.
Paws of War is a charitable program developed by the Guardians of Rescue that trains service dogs for retired military personnel.
Guardians of Rescue

Many celebrations will take part over the next couple of weeks due to the July 4th holiday. Certain of those celebrations truly highlight the real meaning behind our independence – the soldiers that have been fighting for America’s freedom since we colonized and became free states.

We have heard about the fight for independence, what many people have not heard is issues the fight has caused many of the men and women that participate in the fight. The Guardians of Rescue know and through their Paws of War program, they are willing to do something special for as many retired soldiers as possible. The problem is that there are so many!

This independence day, the Guardians of Rescue are donating a service dog to medically retired Marine Corps veteran Sgt. Ryan Jamison Matthew Holiday. The dog will help him with his post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well as his depression.

“"Our Paws of War program is doubly rewarded as we are proud to help both ends of the leash begin a new journey together,” explains Dori Scofield, vice president of Guardians of Rescue, an animal rescue organization. “This is a small gift that will have a major impact on the life of this well-respected veteran.”

PTSD is common among veterans, so much so that it is estimated that around 400,000 of them currently experience it. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs reports that the average PTSD rate for all adults is 6.8 percent. Yet for veterans it ranges from 12-31 percent, depending on their service. For example, the PTSD rate for those who served in Vietnam is 31 percent, while for those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan it is 14 percent.

Animal therapy is an effective treatment method used for PTSD. It involves getting veterans around animals, such as getting them a dog. The Guardians of Rescue have a program, Paws of War, where they pair veterans with trained service dogs that serve an animal therapy role. Being an animal lover, Sgt. Holiday plans to earn a degree that will allow him to work as an animal vet tech.

In addition to the charitable works that they provide to military veterans, the Guardians of Rescue provide assistance to animals out on the streets, helping to rescue them, provide medical care, food and shelter, and find foster home placement. To learn more, or to make a donation to support the Guardians of Rescue, log onto www.guardiansofrescue.org.