I served in the U.S. Air Force Security Forces where I endured several incidents that, at the time, didn’t affect my personal relationships with my family, friends, and colleagues (or so I thought). However, a short time after my first deployment during November 2001 where a life-threatening situation occurred (one-one confrontation with a Taliban sympathizer pointing his weapon in my face during Entry Control Point Checks), and the loss of two of my friends in my unit due to suicide, I began to act violently towards my family, friends and myself.
Cheyenne (my rescued pit bull) witnessed many of my outbursts (hyper-arousal) shortly after I adopted her from an independent pit bull rescue organization. While I was in the act, I noticed this little pit bull puppy wagging her tail looking up at me with those playful puppy-dog eyes while turning her head from left to right, knowing that something was wrong with me. I found myself fixated on this new little puppy that had come into my life during my violent outburst and froze, picked her up and told Cheyenne (while crying) everything I was suffering within my head. Then I hit rock bottom, twice, I placed a loaded pistol in my mouth, wishing to end my perceived pains, and twice, the sad eyes and soft touch of my rescue dog Cheyenne prompted me to remove the pistol and consider living. Immediately, I felt so relieved; like a 10,000-pound weight had been lifted off my chest. Soon after, my family and friends noticed a significant change in my behavior – a reduced number of outbursts, better attitude, and deciding not to commit suicide – all because of this little pit bull puppy. I was later diagnosed by the Department of Veterans' Affairs eight years after these incidents with having Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression.
So, in July 2009, I (with my faith in Yehovah) set out on a mission to share my personal struggles and success stories with my fellow military veterans, active duty military, law enforcement, first responders, the families survived, and EMTs suffering from PTSD or similar symptoms. My hope and prayers are that Companions for Heroes (C4H) will aid them in their recovery while at the same time saving our nation’s shelter and rescue animals.
Today, C4H has aided and saved 4,000+ Heroes and dogs since its inception.
I reside with my son, Dax and my daughter, Mabel. Thanks for reading my story of recovery and thanks for your support.