Post-traumatic stress disorder, or commonly known as PTSD, is a very serious anxiety disorder that affects many veterans. It is largely attributed to experiencing a life-threatening event, which is common amongst military personnel who have served in a war.
While the number is not exactly known, some studies estimate that anywhere between 10% to more than 20% of the 2.7 million Americans that served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have PTSD and/or depression. Anyone who has suffered from PTSD, or has a family member afflicted with it, knows just how serious of an impact it can have on someone’s life and those around them.
PTSD can be treated, and one of the most effective ways is through trauma-focused therapies. One program in particular that has done great work, is the Warrior Canine Connection. It turns out that Man’s Best Friend can have a wonderful healing effect for our wounded veterans.
The Warrior Canine Connection helps veterans in two ways – those who struggle with PTSD and others who are facing physical disabilities.
Veterans who are struggling to reconnect with their daily lives are given the responsibility to train a service dog who will then go on to help a disabled veteran. By training the dogs, returning veterans are given a renewed sense of purpose because there is such a strong desire to help their fellow warriors. Interacting with the dogs on a daily basis has been shown to help reduce anxiety and ease the symptoms of PTSD for those who have not responded to traditional therapies.
When the dogs are finished with their training, they go on to help as many as 60 veterans who are recovering from various physical ailments. It’s a wonderful program that uses the strong connection many of us feel to dogs in order to heal those who are wounded physically and mentally.
This infographic on their website gives a nice overview of the process.
Make Par / Not War
I first learned about the Warrior Canine connection through one of my favorite clothing brands, Linksoul. They are based in Oceanside, CA which is close to Camp Pendelton, a major training base for the Marine Corps. Linksoul has been involved with the Warrior Canine Connection, as returning veterans are a strong part of their local community.
You can watch this video to learn a little more about the program:
I had not known it at the time, but I donated to the cause several times. Linksoul’s motto is “Make Par / Not War” which is something that most golfers can get behind. They have a whole collection of t-shirts, hats, and art prints with their tagline. As part of their effort to contribute to The Canine Warrior connection, 10% of sales from the collection are donated.
This is a wonderful cause that needs more help, so if you want a cool t-shirt or hat, you can make a small donation by making a purchase here.
If you want to contribute directly to the Warrior Canine Connection you can do so here on their website.