(aka) Paws4People, Inc
1121C-324 Military Cutoff Road
Wilmington, NC 28405
Service Dogs Save Lives
Carol is Sgt. Jeff Mitchell's Mom
First you bargain with God. Please let him survive Iraq - let us see him again. Answered prayers. He's back, he has survived.
But an even more insidious enemy was trying to take our son. What is PTSD? We had heard of combat vets who were unable to re-enter the "real" world. Those who locked themselves away and self medicated with drugs or alcohol - or even worse, the unthinkable, ultimate escape of suicide - but not our smart, strong, handsome son - never our Jeff.
Then we find he has barricaded himself in his room on post - doors locked, blinds closed - a virtual prisoner in his own shattered mind. He was still "battle ready" waiting for the next awful thing to happen. We brought him home naively thinking that being surrounded by his loving family was just what he needed.
Things got worse and in spite of a scary cocktail of prescribed anti-psychotics and anti-depressants and endless visits to psychiatrists and counselors, he was admitted to the psych floor at the VA hospital - a virtual zombie - barely recognizable with Post-Traumatic Stress or PTSD.
He saw an article about a Veteran suffering as he was and how the healing powers of a service dog had saved his life. Jeff asked "How do I get a dog?"
paws4vets dog TAZIE saved his soul and understood Jeff. Their partnership was nothing short of a miracle.
Jeff's working with his second paws4vets dog AUSTIN. Jeff moved in with his girlfriend, and is traveling the country. All due to the support of AUSTIN. Things I never thought possible for Jeff.
My prayer is that by sharing their remarkable story, someone will help paws4vets save other Veterans' lives.