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Too many of our servicemen and woman suffer from physical and emotional trauma from the battlefield. For years, they were stigmatized and treated unfairly. Finally, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is being more and more accepted as the devastating injury that it is. Service dogs are being trained worldwide, to aid soldiers so they can navigate through their challenging days.
Minimum security prisons have had success with service dog training programs. Because the prisoners are with the dog 24/7, a special bond forms that promotes discipline, respect, and a mutual love. This fosters a beautiful relationship that ends in a bittersweet separation when the dog graduates and becomes a full-time service dog.
Bill Campbell suffered from a traumatic brain injury. Coping with day-to-day life was nearly impossible for the veteran. A service dog could not just assist him with certain functions but could also provide Campbell with emotional support. He was matched with Pax, a loyal and devoted dog that was trained by an inmate at the Bedford Hills Women Correctional Facility.
Campbell was so grateful for what Pax has done for his life that he wanted to meet the woman who trained him, so they take the journey to the prison together.
The inmate, Lauri, waits for Pax at the top of the hill. When she calls out his name, Pax goes running. Their reunion is SO incredible, that I had to rewind that incredible moment over and over again.
Lauri says it best: “I realized that by giving me Pax and by taking him from me, they had given me the greatest gift anyone has ever given me in my entire life… it restored a piece of my soul.”
Watch their incredible reunion below! You may want to keep a box of tissues handy for some serious tears of joy! ❤️
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