Breaking News Bar

'We are so very proud': Eleven ready to graduate from This Able Veteran

  • Army veteran Raymond Musgraves from Wolf Lake has benefited from a new friend, a black lab named Ryder. The connection was made through This Able Vet.

    Army veteran Raymond Musgraves from Wolf Lake has benefited from a new friend, a black lab named Ryder. The connection was made through This Able Vet.
    Courtesy of This Able Vet

 
Submitted by Michelle Rositch/This Able Veteran
updated: 12/7/2018 11:29 AM

CARBONDALE -- Eleven veterans will graduate Friday, Dec. 14 from This Able Veteran's Trauma Resiliency Program.

This ceremony is the culmination of up to 18 months of training for the PTSD service dogs and three weeks of the veterans learning to work their dogs, and building skills to manage their post traumatic stress.

This Able Veteran is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization based in Carbondale that is dedicated to helping veterans heal from the psychological wounds of war.

The pairing ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. at the Carterville Community Center (120 N. Greenbriar Rd.).

It is free and the public is encouraged to attend to support these veterans. In addition to the pairing, the evening will feature a reception with light refreshments, wine and beer.

Pam Largent, president of This Able Veteran, said, "We are so very proud of these veterans and their dedication to their healing. The work they do here is transformative. To see them graduating with a brighter future, optimism and more strength makes our hearts full. None of this would be possible without the support of the community."

During the three-week Trauma Resiliency Program, the veteran and service dog teams learned to live and work together, developed trusting relationships and learned to function cohesively in new and different environments.

Since the inception of This Able Veteran in spring 2011, nearly 50 veterans have received PTSD service dogs to help them overcome psychological and physical injuries.

All expenses -- including the purchase and training of the dogs, equipment, veterinary care, bringing the veteran to the campus, lodging and the Trauma Resiliency Program -- are provided free to the veteran.

For more information about This Able Veteran, visit thisableveteran.org, call 618-751-3662 or email servicedog@thisableveteran.org.