My husband Ray proudly served 8 years in the Marine Corps. The last 4 years as a “grunt” were a blur. He deployed often and was hardly home. I clearly remember the moments right before he boarded the bus as I stood 8 months pregnant with our first son. That was the most difficult deployment for us both. Not only because he would miss the birth but also the unknown. But I knew this is what he had re-enlisted for, to serve his country. I prayed everyday for his safe return from Iraq.
Upon his return, I quickly knew that he was having a difficult time readjusting to home life. My husband was no longer the same man that boarded that bus 7 months prior. He never spoke about the things he endured in Iraq.
After leaving the Corps, Ray had an even harder time in the civilian world. He finally went to the VA for help. He was diagnosed with PTSD and also suffers from other physical conditions. While at the VA, another veteran gave him information on service dogs. We didn’t think that this could ever become a reality since our youngest son has a dog allergy. We did some research online on hypoallergenic dogs and came across Tammi and Brian’s website. I got the courage to call and speak to Tammi and told her my husband’s story. She didn’t hesitate to saying yes to donating one of her babies to our family. We feel very blessed and are grateful to them both for this amazing gift. Our goal is to have the puppy trained as a service dog for Ray. The puppy will start training classes this September. Ray will not only have a companion but will also have a little helper by his side. Having this puppy will also make his days happier and brighter.
Once again, thank you Tammi and Bryan for having such a kind heart. May God bless you always.
Erica, Ray and boys
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