SBF on ABC15 Arizona: Memorial Day

SBF on ABC15 Arizona: Memorial Day

Phillip and Samson after Samson passed his Canine Good Citizen Test (CGC).

Soldier’s Best Friend (SBF) is dedicated to reducing the symptoms some combat veterans face once their final mission serving our country is complete by means of a service dog or therapeutic companion dog. A great example of our program is found in the veteran and dog team of Phillip and Samson. Their story of finding each other through the SBF program was captured by ABC15 Arizona this past Memorial Day.

On Memorial Day, we are given the opportunity to pause and reflect on the freedom we have because of the men and women who sacrificed their lives to protect it. While we mourn the loss of our brave service men and women, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, we must also be aware of the ones who come home but continue to fight in the mental battlefield brought on by memories and physical injuries of war.

Phillip enlisted after 9-11 and his Post-Traumatic Stress symptoms, related to his time serving in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, were completely dictating his life. He reached out to Soldier’s Best Friend with the hopes of addressing and lessening those symptoms and that is how he was paired with Samson. Samson was brought to us via The Fetch Foundation where they saw potential for him to perform in an honorable role such as that of a service dog.

Phillip and Samson have worked and trained for many hours to reach their goals. They are looking forward to their upcoming graduation, when they will join the other 170 SBF alumni. While graduation is an accomplishment we absolutely celebrate with our teams and families, touching two lives at once and inspiring countless others is a mission SBF is dedicated to continue.

If you missed the ABC15 segment featuring Phillip and Samson, you can watch the video provided here or visit ABC15’s website.

Memorial Day

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a time for the country to pause and honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice while defending our nation’s freedom. As we take pause, we should also reflect on the service men and women who have returned home, but remain in a battle with their wounds of war. Soldier’s Best Friend is committed to serving these veterans by providing them a service dog to help lessen their symptoms of combat-related PTSD and/or Traumatic Brain Injury.

The most recent suicide data report from the VA (August 2016) states that an average of 20 veterans take their lives each and every day. One is too many; 20 each day is intolerable. Memorial Day can be a stressful time for some veterans. It’s a time to remember the fallen; for our veterans that is often a very personal loss. For some, it means reliving horrible memories. We hear from the veterans in our program, that some experience an increase in their symptoms around certain holidays. Memorial Day is one of those.

If you or a veteran you know are struggling with suicidal thoughts, contact the Veteran Crisis Line for help. They provide confidential, round-the-clock support with trained and experienced responders.

Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255, press 1

It’s important for people to know that while our returning military heroes aren’t in a battle zone anymore, many are still battling a dangerous fight every day. Please help share information about Soldier’s Best Friend so that we can continue to provide this life-changing program to veterans at no cost to them.