Will and “Marine”

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My name is William Domangue and I am writing this to let everyone know how much having my Service Dog has helped me. In October of 2013 I was diagnosed with PTSD, depression, and anxiety.  My doctor placed me on the normal treatment of medication to help me with these problems which worked for a short time.  I went back to my doctor, after talking with key leaders in my unit, and on their advice asked him if a service dog would help.  My doctor agreed that a service dog would be good for my based on the fact of other patience’s that he treated that were like me.  He gave me the name of Casper Vande Hei and told me to call him talk with him abou ta service dog.  I went and met Casper on a Saturday and he explained how a service dog can help.  He could tell that my symptoms were affecting me so he told me to come back the next Saturday and we would find a dog that was a good fit for me and start training.  The following Saturday I met with him and I met "Marine" my service dog and we were such a perfect fit that "Marine" came home with me that night after training.  I have had "Marine" now for a year now and he goes everywhere with me.  Everyone in my command and even mydoctor stated that I have gotten better since having "Marine". I owe everything to Casper Vande Hei, Burt Bethiaume and the Veterans of Canada and the USA K9 Unit. Thank you!



Testimony from Will's commanding officer.

My name is Shawn.  William is a combat veteran who has seen and experienced several life-threating/life-changing situations.  As a fellow combat veteran, I know similar experiences affect people in different ways.  There was an underlying intensity in my first few interactions with him.  I suspected it was simply a part of his personality.  Over the next two months, I sensed there were underlying emotional reasons for his intensity.  He maintained a stoic persona in humorous situations and did not outwardly socialize with peers.  He is a smart and dedicated individual but in certain situations, he would often default to an aggressive posture when unexpected elements were introduced.  I was skeptical when William told me he was getting a service dog.  I was unsure how a dog would help him, but I noticed a drastic and immediate change in his personality the first time he brought Marine (the service dog) to the office.  He displayed more patience in difficult situations; used reason to provide sensible solutions to challenging problems; and interacted calmly with peers.  The pairing of William and Marine has all but eliminated my skepticism of service dogs.

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