A Veteran Hero and His New Canine Partner

veteran man standing on a deck with service dogIt takes a hero to dedicate one’s life to serving others. And, Don Jones did exactly that – putting others first and protecting them – as a flight medic for the U.S. Army and as a fire fighter. This unwavering act of bravery, however, led him on an inevitable journey with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

PTSD became an invisible scar that only he can see, and it turned into a routine of anxiety and hypervigilance, not able to fully immerse himself into civilian life. “The way I describe my PTSD is that my soul has been tattooed or scarred from all the things I’ve seen,” he shares.  
In 2019, Don decided to take care of himself, an act far removed from his position as a public servant; he applied for a service dog from Canine Companions and matched with Walla, whom he calls his “life saver.”
From completing commands to ease Don’s anxiety in public, to interrupting him when he’s distraught with nightmares, Walla is the glue that brings him back and makes him whole again. “Without people supporting Canine Companions, I wouldn’t have Walla. Little contributions to large contributions, it all adds up to provide all the initial care, getting the dogs trained, pairing and then all the support afterwards.” Click here to empower veterans. 
Because of the generous contributions from our donors, Walla has been priceless to Don. You have the power to change the lives of many other veterans by gifting them invaluable independence and confidence that they all deserve to enjoy.