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Central Florida man trains dogs for veterans

Service dogs for the people who served. They are much more than a furry friend. They are vital companions. WESH 2’s Dave McDaniel introduces us to this week’s WESH 2 Community Champion, a man who knows how important connection is and works to provide veterans with these companions for free. Ernie Rivera is a Purple Heart winner. what it’s like to be a disabled veteran and have a service dog. I’ve had a service dog for several years,” Rivera said. “His name is Baby, Baby Brody,” Rivera said of one of the dogs. Eleven months in the hospital after an explosion caused a traumatic brain injury, this US Army veteran now trains service dogs for veterans across the country “Before I had a service dog, it was very difficult for me to go out in public. And for a lot of veterans who suffer from PTSD, it’s hard for them,” Rivera said. “Let’s walk them, hold them tight,” Rivera said while training a dog. Rivera is a professional dog trainer and runs summer camps to convey that For the people who pay Rivera for dog training, Rivera said the money is a donation.”All of that money is donated for service dogs to be trained and given for free to veterans and veterans.” kids,” Rivera said. “They pay us to train their pet, and then we use that money, me and my wife, we work for free, we don’t get paid, and we donate our time,” Rivera said. A dog with post-traumatic stress disorder he was in training, and if you’re wondering how much those dogs mean to veterans, just look them in the eye. “I have a lot of anxiety. I was hypervigilant when I came out, always looking over my shoulders. said John Peeling. Peeling served 20 years in the Navy. An IED has John Peeling dealing with PTSD and he leans heavily on his service dog Rose. “My dog ​​can sense the stress on me, and he’ll come lay down next to me and I’ll calm down,” Peeling said. “These service animals can help veterans get off the medications that often cause the most harm,” said Marcy Harrow. Harrow is an Air Force parliamentarian who also deals with post-traumatic stress after an explosion. She spends time with her dog, Cash, and helps him train her. “My PTSD is pretty severe. I have a lot of anxiety and hypervigilance, and he’s going to help me with hypervigilance in public, and I’m excited about that,” Harrow said. When asked how important service dogs are to their everyday lives, veterans have these things to say. “I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have this dog, that’s all,” Peeling said. “This dog will save my life,” Harrow said. “Adopt Rescue Heal, where we adopt and rescue dogs, and train them to heal veterans,” Rivera said. Thirty-four service dogs were delivered last year, roughly 300 so far across the country. That’s why Ernie Rivera is a WESH 2 CommUNITY Champion. To nominate an individual or organization for CommUNITY Champion, email communitychampion@wesh.com.

Service dogs for the people who served. They are much more than a furry friend. They are vital companions.

WESH 2’s Dave McDaniel introduces us to this week’s WESH 2 CommUNITY Champion, a man who knows how important connection is and works to provide veterans with these companions for free.

Ernie Rivera is a Purple Heart winner.

“I know what it’s like to be a disabled veteran and have a service dog. I’ve had a service dog for several years,” Rivera said.

“His name is Baby, Baby Brody,” Rivera said of one of the dogs.

Eleven months in the hospital after an explosion caused a traumatic brain injury, the US Army veteran now trains service dogs for veterans across the country.

“Before I had a service dog, it was very difficult for me to go out in public. And for many veterans who suffer from PTSD, it is difficult for them,” Rivera said.

“We’re going to walk them, keep them tight,” Rivera said while training a dog.

Rivera is a professional dog trainer and runs summer camps to pass on that skill.

For people who pay Rivera for dog training, Rivera said the money is a donation.

“All of that money is donated so that the service dogs are trained and given out for free to veterans and children,” Rivera said.

“They pay us to train their pet, and then we use that money, me and my wife, we work for free, we don’t get paid, and we donate our time,” Rivera said.

A dog with PTSD was in training, and if you’re wondering how much those dogs mean to veterans, just look them in the eye.

“I have a lot of anxiety. I was hyper-vigilant when I went out, always looking over my shoulders,” John Peeling said.

Peeling served 20 years in the Navy.

An IED has John Peeling dealing with PTSD and he leans heavily on his service dog Rose.

“My dog ​​can sense the stress on me, and he comes to lie down next to me and I calm down,” Peeling said.

“These service animals can help veterans get off the medications that often cause the most harm,” said Marcy Harrow.

Harrow is an Air Force deputy who also deals with post-traumatic stress after an explosion.

He spends time with his dog, Cash, and helps him train.

“My PTSD is pretty severe. I have a lot of anxiety and hypervigilance, and he’s going to help me with hypervigilance in public, and I’m excited about that,” Harrow said.

When asked how important service dogs are to their everyday lives, veterans have these things to say.

“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have this dog, that’s all,” Peeling said.

“This dog will save my life,” Harrow said.

“Adopt Rescue Heal, where we adopt and rescue dogs, and train them to heal veterans,” Rivera said.

Thirty-four service dogs were delivered last year, roughly 300 so far across the country.

That’s why Ernie Rivera is a WESH 2 CommUNITY Champion.

To nominate an individual or organization for a CommUNITY Champion, please email communitychampion@wesh.com.

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