Congressman Hopes To Deal With PTSD, Veteran Suicide and K9s For Warriors
On the heels of the 2020 Moran Act appropriating funds anew for PTSD veteran services organizations, Congressman John Rutherford (R-FL-04), announced the reintroduction of H.R. 1022, the Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers (PAWS) Act of 2021, which will increase access to Service Dogs, like those supplied by K9s For Warriors, for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Rutherford’s PAWS Act, previously killed because there is not evidence from the VA research that shows they stop PTSD, establishes a competitive grant program through the Department of Veterans Affairs for organizations to pair service dogs with veterans suffering from PTSD. Rutherford and Representatives Chris Pappas (D-NH-01), Michael Waltz (R-FL-06), Al Lawson (D-FL-05), and Steve Stivers (R-OH-15) continue to push forward for Veterans and their families living and dying with PTSD.
Service dogs are just one arrow in the quiver to fight PTSD.
K9s For Warriors Service Dogs Are Useful, Cute & Expensive
Ponte Vedra’s K9s for Warriors charity is committed to meeting the demand of veterans for service dogs. They rescue dogs to rescue veterans and they are expanding and need your help to complete the Mega Kennel and reduce the wait time for a service dog. Donate.
Why do they need a mega kennel? The average cost to breed, train, house, feed and transfer a PTSD service dog runs between $20,000 to $60,000. The veteran who will receive the dog also needs to be screened for a match and then trained once he is “given” his service dog. Once they become an owner, they have to budget for the annual costs that any dog owner must expect. Click here if you’d like to get on a list for a dog.
Once A Soldier’s stand remains the same as it was in the past. Hearing veteran suicide stories from the survivors motivates us to say that anything stopping a Veteran from throwing his family into the downward spiral after a suicide is great. More of it at any cost. We can afford wars and companies profit from it, so we can afford whatever it takes for Veterans. However, reintroducing the PAWS Act falls into the category of lazy legislation. We wish it a speedy journey from bill into law, but don’t support it. Prevention is not working with the weapons we have now. More of the same if not enough.
Congressional Bills Don’t Speed Up Waiting Lists
And while we’d like to see a new postvention bill versus another one of hundreds introduced for prevention, Veterans have been waiting long enough. Veterans wait for years to get a service dog from those places that will benefit most from PAWS such as K9s for Warriors, Pawsitivity, Retrieving Freedom. It’s time to let the dogs out.
ABOUT ONCE A SOLDIER
Our Veterans are killing themselves in record numbers mostly due to PTSD. An overmatched VA can’t take care of them or their families. We will.
Soldier suicide leaves Veteran families with thousands of dollars of bills unpaid, mostly bank loans.
We are the only nonprofit standing with the families after a veteran suicide. Stand with us.
Our Mission: Become the preferred channel for donors, advocates and volunteers who care about veteran families left behind after a soldier suicide.