KANSAS CITY, MO (WDAF/CNN) – A veteran was gifted a service dog to help him deal with anger issues brought on by post-traumatic stress disorder.
Brad Jackson was introduced to Harley, a Labrador retriever, presented to him at a Harley-Davidson tribute to the troops event. The dog was courtesy of Friends in Service of Heroes.
Jackson served in the Marines from 1996-2012 and struggles with anger, depression and anxiety as part of his PTSD.
“I lost my first two jobs because I didn’t know how to fit in,” Jackson said. “My first job, I hit one of my employees because I told him to do something and he said no. I didn’t understand why I was being fired.”
Jackson said it was hard accepting the dog because he felt it took something away from someone else who is worse off and deserves it more.
“We’ve done something that is going to enhance the quality of his life for the rest of his life,” Kris Harris, a member of the Friends in Service of Heroes advisory board, said. “I don’t think you can take anything to bed that’s better than that.”
FISH has matched a dozen veterans with service dogs.
“We have found that our veterans that receive a service dog are able to reduce their medications by over 40 percent in the first 120 days,” Harris said. “And 90 percent of those medications are opioids.”
Jackson said the dog will serve as a companion and help him navigate everyday situations that are difficult.
“It’s going to help me with me anger, depression, anxiety, being comfortable in crowds of people, being comfortable by myself,” Jackson said. “We’re going to make a good team.”
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