Thursday, August 6, 2015

Pets and The Iraq War Veteran with PTSD

I'm sure all war veterans suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) but it is only with more recent wars that the problem has a name and there is treatment. When people are geared up for war, living on adreneline, it's hard to get out of that condition. Expecting land mines wherever you walk, snipers around every corner, even sleep isn't restful after our soldiers come home from war.

One of the ways in which many veterans are helped, along with therapy, is a service dog trained to help someone with PTSD.

Thanks to the nice people at HooplaHa, here is a Chicken Soup for The Soul video introducing you to Iraq War Army Veteran, Stephen Simmons, his PTSD dog, Puppi, and his family's cat, Burma. Together they run and hike in the mountains in Oregon, doing what Stephen calls Adventure Therapy that he created for himself. He discovered that beneath the depression, he really did care what happened to him. "Adventure therapy has given me immense hope for the future, and a new-found determination to overcome my situation."


9 comments:

Rescuegal said...

Excellent video and 3 cheers to the war veteran for finding his own path back to better health. I am extremely sad that he is homeless--no veteran should be homeless, but oh so grateful that he has the bond and companionship of Puppi and Burma. Love the fact that the family cat is now part of his pack and goes on his Adventure Therapy hikes with him. Stephen Simmons is truly an inspiration to his fellow veterans.

Thank you for sharing this video.

Darlene said...

I'm so glad you liked it, Rescuegal! I had the same thought - no veteran should be homeless. I hope this video brings him enough attention that he might be offered a home and a job. You're right: he is an inspiration to his fellow veterans. I was so happy to be able to share his Adventure Therapy with his four-legged friends.

Gordon Brice said...

What an amazing and inspirational video. This man's determination to apply self help in the form of hikes with his dog and cat must provide the incentive to others also suffering from PTSD. Of course, it is not necessary to take part in strenuous exercise to help overcome the trauma left by war, but having a dog or cat, or both, is great therapy for anyone. They certainly know when their human companions need help.
Thank you for sharing this valuable information with us, Darlene.

Vallie Szymanski said...

Darlene, I love this video, being owned by an Afghan hound and 2 black cats, I can't imagine how he was able to take both Puppi and Burma on his hikes together. Just amazing! And I agree with Rescuegal, absolutely NO VETERAN SHOULD BE HOMELESS. It is just not acceptable. Thanks for all that you do to educate us on so many issues.

Layla Morgan Wilde ( Cat Wisdom 101) said...

so inspiring I did some research and found his website, fb page, Kickstarter raised 14K for his photography book and Purina has sponsored him https://www.purina.com/better-with-pets/moving-mountains-the-story-of-stephen,-puppi-plus-burma. I'd love to see him get a book deal for a memoir and his cat could have his own book. Amazing.

Layla Morgan Wilde ( Cat Wisdom 101) said...

duh, of course Burma has his own Instagram account with 23K follower. Love the pics. Yup, book deal is next. https://instagram.com/burmaadventurecat/

Darlene said...

Gordon, thank you so much for your comments. It truly is inspirational which is why I wanted to post it. There are so many veterans who have PTSD and many who are homeless. In a sense, he is a voice for them.

Darlene said...

Thank you for commenting, Vallie. I, too, was amazed. The love and the human-animal bond are so beautifully on display in this video. They are a wonderful family unit.

Darlene said...

Thank you for stopping by and commenting, Layla. I think it's wonderful that there will be a book. If it does well enough, perhaps he will no longer have to be homeless.Thank you for sharing that information!