Fallen Soldiers March

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Fallen Soldiers March® 501(c)3 non-profit

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Fallen Soldiers March

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Fallen Soldiers March®

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A 501(c)3 Non-Profit Dedicated to
Inspiring Patriotism,
Providing Service Dogs & Advocacy for Veterans

How We Can Assist

How We Can Assist

PTSD – Making A Difference

Case Study – Bill Cambell
bill_cambellBill Campbell, an Iraq war veteran, says Pax helps him cope with symptoms of PTSD.

Bill Campbell, an Iraq war veteran with a 100 percent disability due to concussive brain injury, received a beautiful yellow Labrador called Pax.

Pax was trained by Laurie Kellogg at Bedford Hills Women’s Correctional Facility. The fact that Pax came into Bill Campbell’s life made his life once again possible.

“He [Pax] gave me back pieces of myself that I forgot even existed,” says Kellogg. “And when he left me and they told me he was going to you, Bill, I sat on my floor and cried. And I realized that by giving me Pax and taking him from me, they had given me the greatest gift anybody had ever given me in my life. That he restored my soul.”

Bill Campbell’s wife, Domenica, said that Pax helps her husband in multiple ways – including when Sgt. Campbell struggles with the hyper-vigilance that is one of the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

“We’ll go into a restaurant for instance and previously it was, ‘Where can I sit with my back to a wall? Where is my clearest vantage point?'” says Campbell. “Now when we go in it’s, ‘Which table has the least crumbs under it? Where is going to be a good place for Pax to be?’ So that’s been a really helpful thing.”

Brig. Gen. Loree Sutton is the director of the Defense Centers for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury. She notes that, while soldiers like Bill Campbell and others wage war, healers like Pax and those working with Veterans provide hope.

PTSD symptoms caused by witnessing or participating in a traumatic event can affect two people, standing side by side, differently. PTSD is rarely cured; it can be treated. Whether ‘acute,’ ‘chronic,’ or ‘delayed,’ effective treatments can vary from Veteran to Veteran.

sc_how_to_assistPhysical, behavioral, and/or emotional symptoms can be helped tremendously by the presence of a well trained service dog. Anxiety, panic, fear, irritability, depression, withdrawal, isolation, hyper-vigilance, loss of trust, nightmares, reoccurring flashbacks, phobias of crowds, phones, e-mail, stores, buildings, vehicles, unfamiliar people, insomnia, fatigue, pounding heart, migraines, difficulty concentrating, paranoia, sleepwalking, suicidal thoughts, anti social behavior, suspicion, poor self esteem are but some of the symptoms where a service has proved useful.

Working as a team with the veteran’s counselors, family support and medical support team, is step one. Talk therapy, positive motivation, relaxation training, systematic desensitization, biofeedback, cognitive behavioral therapy, pharmacotherapy, are but some of the treatments in the therapeutic ‘toolbox.’ As with anything, some work better on some veterans than others.

The formation of a team effort is but one strategy in stress management. Finding those who can validate and appreciate the veterans such as family, friends, counselor, doctor, chaplain, spouse, children, parents, or friends from his/her unit may certainly help. This is often be greatly enhanced by the use of a highly trained service dog. Dogs might be huggable to look at, but they have a far more important role to play – to help re-integrate military veterans scarred by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


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