Transcript for K9s for Warriors charity helping out veterans
Keep it here. Back now with our series Saturday spirit. Veterans day is on Monday, a day to honor the heroes who have served our country in uniform and the furry friends who have eased their returns from war. There's a special organization now bringing them together. Take a look. Meet shai, a Plott hound mix specially trained to help U.S. Navy veteran Damien Youngerman who stained a traumatic brain injury during his service in Afghanistan and now suffers from PTSD. Good girl. Look at you. How brave you are. K9s for warriors, the largest provider in the nation of service dogs to disabled veterans adopts rescue dogs from kill shelters around the country and after months of training unites them with veterans in need. We rescue the dog, the dog rescues the war combror. They're both getting second chances. The dogs learn to comfort and protect their human providing everything from physical help for veterans with disabilities to emotional support for those who struggle to open up about their pain. I would tell you unequivocally that Utah has saved my life and by far the majority of our graduates would say the same thing. And we are now joined by retired Navy master sergeant Damien Youngerman and his beautiful service day shai. We have's just been admiring how gorgeous he is. Damien, thank you so much for coming in and talking about this important story. I just wanted to go back a little bit. You served in the Navy 14 years, multiple tours in Afghanistan. Defusing bombs. You got hurt, though. What were the struggles like when you came home? Well, when I came home from the last deployment, I just started noticing that things had deteriorated. There had just been kind of behavioral changes, started going to counseling and therapy and diagnosed with PTSD and traumatic brain injury so a friend of mine had gotten a service dog and approached me, heard I had been having a hard time, told me he thought it was something I should look into. I looked into it. I found K9s for warriors, applied for the program and got matched up with this guy and, you know, they rescue the dogs, but it's really the dogs that rescue us. And how has shai really helped you? Well, there's a lot of ways, but there were really dark times and often I would just kind of shut myself off from the world and hide in my house or in my apartment and then not go out and one of the most kind of immediate things is, you know, he got me out outside like looking outward and noticings things I had forgotten to notice. You see the trees or this stream in central park and would sit there and also, you know, one of the big things was he's helped me to kind of reduce my level of medication which is a big thing. Shai has had a tremendous impact on your life. Damian, we appreciate you coming in and bringing shai. We do have a surprise for your best friend here, shai. This is for all the great work he's been doing. Wait a minute. You're talking about me? Squirrel? A squirrel. What is it? Thanks again. K9 for warriors. That's our gift to shai. We'll be right back after this.
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