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New York nonprofit helps veterans with PTSD by introducing them to service dogs

Posted at 8:37 AM, Sep 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-23 11:37:21-04

NEW YORK (KERO) — An organization in New York is helping veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by introducing them to a furry companion.

The nonprofit Operation At Ease helps veterans train their own service dog.

The office of Veterans Affairs says around 11% to 20% of vets who served in Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from PTSD.

Robert Odell served in the Army for 13 years.

He's been working with benny for about six months now, he now has a sense of companionship he didn't have before.

"Little things he does, like I used to have to close my bedroom door and lock it shut, or else I'd be looking at my bedroom door all night. You know, but, with him laying in bed with me and having that extra sense of security, knowing that he'll hear things before I do," Odell, a retired Army staff sergeant.

Odell was concerned that having a dog would only draw more attention to him but he says Benny brings a new sense of calm. One some veterans have waited for.