Residents recently attended a presentation by Steve Moore, representative from Paws for Purple Hearts (PPH). Steve, joined by his service dog, Chew, kept the crowd riveted in their seats as he spoke of his battlefield experiences in Iraq and ensuing battle with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Particularly inspiring was the healing process he pursued and the special part Chew played in his recovery.
Paws for Purple Hearts is a powerful therapeutic intervention for those suffering effects of PTSD not resolved by conventional treatments. The process of training their puppies confers therapeutic benefits that can include less anxiety and depression, less dependence on pain medications, greater sociability, a more positive outlook, a mission-driven focus, renewed sense of purpose, and improved parenting skills and family dynamics.
The benefits extend well beyond the PPH Veteran trainers. The service dogs trained in the program are partnered with service members who have combat-related disabilities. These deserving veterans receive a new steadfast companion and a true partner at no cost.
PPH dogs provide independence and security as they perform tasks like opening doors, switching lights and picking up dropped items. And the dogs? They benefit from the loving homes and positive reinforcement received for their important roles in the well-being of their owners.
The residents thanked Steve and Chew for coming to PVE to show us an actual success story of the Paws for Purple Hearts program and increasing our awareness of the growing efforts to use “man’s best friend” to help the veterans who have given us so much.