Ira is a retired U.S. Navy Petty Officer Second Class and a veteran of Operation DESERT STORM. During DESERT STORM, Ira was one of the Navy Photographers responsible for the Damage and Assessment photos during and after the conflict. While on his assignments, Ira was exposed to the casualities of war over and over again. The many tragic events that Ira witnessed, led to his diagnosis of having Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Xavier is a 4-month old Jack Russell Terrier Mix who was brought into a local D.C. shelter with his brothers and sisters. He is Ira's new best friend and proud to be so!
Before C4H - "I had a very hard time relating and trying to talk to others, my family and to the doctors at the Veterans Affairs Hospital. The nightmares would never cease in my head, playing over and over again of what I saw in the Gulf War! I knew I would never be able to have a solid relationship again with my family and friends...never!"
After C4H - "I feel alive again! Xavier has given me time to think and see that I have a second chance again to take care of me through him! I never thought my little guy (Xavier) would ever have me talking to people again and feeling "normal". Recently, my daughter found me through C4H's website; we haven't spoken in years. Now, we are talking again and it turns out she lives in North Carolina - we are becoming a family again!"
Before I met Xavier tonight, I felt nothing. Now, I feel it again! I feel a sense of belonging to this life! Having a dog brings something out of you that I cannot describe.