We have posted before about veterans having trouble finding service and therapy dogs, so it’s not surprising Mari Cortani of Operation Freedom Paws is being honored as one of the top 10 CNN Heroes for 2012.
Through Operation Freedom Paws, Cortani helps veterans train their own service dogs. Of the recognition the organization has received, Cortani says:
I am hoping that with the recognition, we will (be able) to build the OFP Education Center and hire our mentor trainers, who are veterans that have completed or are completing the program. (We want to) put them and other veterans to work training others and expand into a national organization to help even more.
But even more important, I hope it helps bring awareness to the issues that our veterans — male and female — face coming home injured. I hope it helps (our group) enlighten the public and government that service dogs can be a viable tool for assisting veterans, especially those suffering from PTSD and sexual trauma.
The canine-human bond is an amazing gift that can make a difference for an individual to begin to feel and create their own new normal. How can we not support it? If we change just one life and make it better, why won’t we?