COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — To aid veterans struggling with life outside the military, a local non-profit is connecting them with rescue dogs in need of good homes.
“I’m a bit more relaxed with Oscar, it’s easier,” said David Wilson, a veteran of the United States Army. Wilson served for eight years in the srmy, with tours in Afghanistan and Africa. When he came back and started to build a life with his wife and their two children, he felt as if something was missing.
“The quietness is one of the biggest differences,” said Wilson.
His wife, Lauren Wilson, said she noticed it too.
“He told me the first five nights, he was in Afghanistan they were bombed every night, so for him it just became normal,” said Lauren.
To provide David with some comfort, she decided to reach out to Veteran Companion Animal Services. The organizations connects veterans with rescue dogs to form long lasting bonds.
“It was really, really cool,” said Lauren. “The kids were there, everyone was there, all these faces, and he walked right up to David.”
“Went through a process of being trained, he’s not winning best of show, he’s not doing agility things, but he showed up to our door, ready to help us,” said David.
Lauren said she noticed the change in her husband almost instantly.
“If he’s getting stressed, I’m like hey, why don’t you go out back with Oscar, take Oscar for a walk, and it really, he’ll come back and you can tell he feels better,” said Lauren.
Meanwhile, Veteran Companion Animal Services has helped over 50 other veterans in central Ohio struggling with symptoms of PTSD. Wilson hopes others will reach out and find a furry companion that can help.
“Like all relationships, there’s going to be challenges, but he’s a good dog and he gives me something to focus on, but he’s not a project in a bad way, he’s a good thing to focus on, he’s a good dog,” said Wilson.
Learn more about Veteran Companion Animal Services here.