Duke had been receiving training so he could become a service dog for veteran Ryan Largeman, who has post-traumatic stress disorder and nerve damage. Twenty-eight-year-old Largeman was the first veteran accepted into a new program pairing former military members with service dogs. Largeman said, "He's my best friend."
Largement told the Charlotte Observer, "When I start to get anxious, after a while, he'll learn to read my anxiousness ... There's this little device that I'm going to put on my belt, and it's for him to pull on. Basically, we'll have a game of tug-of-war and it will completely distract me."
Charlotte Bridge Home, which helps transition veterans back to civilian life, hopes to see five to 10 veterans matched with dogs each year, if funding can be found. It costs $5,000-$20,000 to train each dog, according to the Charlotte Observer.
It's hard to pass up a cute soldier reunion video, even for national news. "Fox & Friends" highlighted this video in its "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" segment. It was, of course, "The Good."
But behind that sweet reunion was a lot of coordination. A nonprofit organization called Dogs Doing Good handled Duke's training, which the Oasis Shriners paid for. The fraternity has pledged to give $50,000 each year to support the program.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs even has a page dedicated to dog support for veterans with PTSD. It says owning a dog can lift someone's mood, but it also explains there hasn't been enough clinical research to determine whether dogs help with treating PTSD symptoms.
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