Violet’s Turn to Serve

African american man in a sweatshirt with US Army logos with a yellow lab service dog in blue vest laying in his lapArmy veteran Victor Greene loves spending time with his family, playing the drums and piano, and singing in his local church choir.

In 2005, Victor served in Iraq in a transportation unit, escorting troops all around the country. On a seemingly normal day, Victor last remembers being in a convoy. A week later, he woke up recovering in a hospital in Germany.

As a result of Victor’s service, he has a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and is a Purple Heart recipient. When Victor was looking for a way to help reduce his PTSD symptoms, a psychiatrist at his local VA medical center suggested he apply for a service dog from Canine Companions.

In February 2020, Victor was matched with Service Dog Violet, who is trained in commands specifically designed to help mitigate the symptoms of PTSD.

Victor shares, “She’s the best thing that ever happened to me. Violet is amazing and so well trained. Since I’ve had her, I’ve been calmer and more relaxed.”

Expertly trained in over 40 commands, Violet wakes Victor from nightmares, interrupts his panic attacks, turns on and off lights, picks up dropped items and provides constant companionship. In return, Victor sings to Violet, takes her on long walks every day and brings her to work at his job in San Francisco, where she’s become quite popular. Violet has helped Victor work through PTSD flashbacks and panic attacks and allows Victor to be more comfortable in his everyday life.

Victor and Violet make an incredible pair. “She’s more than a best friend,” Victor shares, smiling. “She’s family.”