PTSD Leaves Veteran Unable To Go To The Store, Then His Service Dog Comes To The Rescue

A lot of veterans coming home fromthe war find that they can’t quite leave the battlefield behind them.

Post traumatic stress disorder affects many soldiers and truly disrupts the way that they live their lives on a day-to-day basis.

One way that some veterans are able to ease their minds when faced with the severe anxiety and flashbacks that come with PTSD is to lean on a service dog for some extra help.

Service dogs that have been trained to aid Army veterans have special skills to make them feel safewhen out in public, or even when they’re in their own house just having a tough day.

In the case of Matt Hodges, his time in Iraq made it nearly impossible to leave his own house.

He would have crippling anxiety and it was affecting not only his life, but the lives of his family as well.

But thanks to his amazing service dog, Tank, Hodges is now getting back to the way things were!

Scroll down to take a closer look into Tank and Hodges’ relationship…

Matt Hodges served in the U.S. military from 2004 to 2005. Stationed in Iraq, Hodges was part of a rescue and recovery team that, he recalls, saw more cases of recovery than rescue.

After a year of living on high alert, Hodges found it impossible to leave the overwhelming stress of the his days in Iraq behind him once he returned home. He developed PTSD, and suffered from severe anxiety and flashbacks of his time in Iraq.

After years of suffering, Hodges made the decision to try using a service dog as a way of readjusting to life back in the U.S. He reached out to the Puppy Jake Foundation, and they helped Hodges take a trip to the mall, something that made him so anxious that he was sick to his stomach twice before they entered the building. The above picture was taken after this trip, and Hodges son noticed that he was giving a rare smile while posing with the dog.

Hodges was able to lean on the service dog so heavily in that trial trip, and his sons words hit him so hard, he decided to get his very own service dog. Thats when Hodges battle buddy Tank entered the picture.

Living with Tank has been life-changing for Hodges. Hes finally able to go to public places with a level of comfort now that Tank is by his side. One of Tanks most important moves out in public places is to step in front of Hodges when strangers get too close to act as a layer of distance for the veteran.

Tank has made it so that Hodges cannot only go out in public, but he can enjoy himself while doing so. Not only does this better Hodges life, but his family is reaping the benefits of having Tank around as well!

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Read more: http://www.littlethings.com/veteran-ptsd-service-dog/