The VA told a Vietnam Vet ,that he should join a counseling group,
to talk about his pain and grief.
As he tried to picture himself, sitting in this group of strangers revealing his fears, anxieties , pain and sorrow, ~ he realized he just couldn't bring himself to do it.
We realized, in hearing his story, that there was another way.
We have our pet food transferred from commercial bags to clear plastic zip lock bags. This creates a dynamic much like the quilting used to the older days in churches, which brought bonding and teamwork.
People look at the bags, instead of each other. A critical part of healing, comes from telling our stories, over and over over, taking the emotions out of them over time.
Then, we realized there were other ways we could help these Veterans, though their pets!
Current Services that we give at
Veterans Stand Downs in Arizona
New Services - (starting 2016)
As we get additional funding,
we are expanding our mobile services to the next level for our Veterans with Service Groups such as the American Legion and others.
This will have 5 programs, overseen by a Vietnam Veteran and 2 Daughters of Veterans.
Healing Programs ~
> Bagging Food
We get an assortment of donated pet food in riped and torn bags that need to be transferred from the commercial bags.
> Giving Pet Food
People ask for help for their pets, not for themselves. It REALLY is not about giving the pet food. It is about us saying to these Veterans over and over - "THANK YOU, for your service!"
it is about a service brother/sister giving for their animal. Saying with their support and energy, "Hey I have been through it and am coming out the other side, so you can too!"
Finding Peace - working with their Hands!
> Gardening - working to create healthier pets/service dogs with natural food.
> Working with pipes or sewing with the banket project for pets for those cold winter nights.
Either way, the mind can only think of one thing at a time.
Redefining Hero -from War to Healer
How can they redefine Hero in their community?
How do they shift, from bringers of death to
Bringers of healing and peace to others?
Animals can lead their way!
> Help with training service dogs for other vets.
> Turn their pets into therapy animals for hospice, care facilities or hospitals in their community.
> Volunteer to help animals during disasters, from single family homes to community-wide!