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This July 4th Remember Those Veterans who Battle Invisible Wounds | Health

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This July 4th Remember Those Veterans who Battle Invisible Wounds
Health, News, Pets
This July 4th Remember Those Veterans who Battle Invisible Wounds

Paws of War, a nonprofit organization that helps animals and veterans, focuses on effective solutions for suffering veterans

For many, July 4th is a reminder that we are a free country and it is celebrated with fireworks. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the annual amount spent on those fireworks in the country is over $480 million. While many people are celebrating their freedom, they may not be aware that the very people who have helped fight to preserve it suffer from a variety of mental health issues, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

“As many enjoy fun this Independence Day, it is crucial that we remember our veterans who helped secure our freedom,” explains Dori Scofield, executive director of Paws of War. “Hidden from most people, are the invisible wounds of war, such as PTSD and TBI. Our mission is help restore the freedom they have sacrificed while serving our country.

There are over 19 million veterans in the country, with many of them suffering from mental health issues. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, around 50 percent of returning service members who need mental health treatment seek it, and of those only half of them are believed to receive adequate care. Additionally, they report that over 18 percent of service members returning from Iraq or Afghanistan have PTSD or depression, and almost 20 percent experience TBI during deployment.

Paws of War is taking important steps in helping the veterans of the country during the July 4th holiday, and throughout the whole year. Their program not only pairs veterans with rescued dogs who have been trained to serve them for such issues as PTSD and TBI, but they also provide free weekly training for any and all veterans and their companion dogs. Several times per week, they offer the training at their facilities, malls, parks, and other places in the community. Their programs are personalized to meet the needs of each veteran and also give opportunities for them to have some group support and camaraderie.

“We provide a supportive environment for veterans to come together with their dogs,”added Scofield. “It is a wonderful and welcoming atmosphere. ”

It’s also important to keep in mind during July 4th celebrations that many veterans suffering from PTSD may have a difficult time with the noise. Both combat veterans and animals can stress from the loud blasts of fireworks.

Paws of War is an all-volunteer organization that provides rescued dogs trained to be service dogs for veterans suffering from PTSD, TBI, or other mental or physical health issues. The organization relies upon donations to continue their work. To learn more about Paws of War, visit their site at: www.pawsofwar.org.

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