Veteran and service dog are perfect 6-legged team
USA Today | Nora Rappaport
After 31 years of dealing with PTSD all alone, veteran John Tipton decided it was time to get help. That help came in the form of a lab-terrier mix named Daisy.
Having spent 22 years in the Marine Corps and being deployed to places like Lebanon, Grenada, and serving in the first Gulf War, John was no stranger to the trauma of war. He’s one of many veterans who reap the benefits of now having a service dog.
Despite the positive impact Daisy has had on John’s life, he noticed one downside: he was having a hard time finding a job, and he thinks it's because potential employers weren't too keen on him having a service dog. He spent three years searching for a job that would allow Daisy to come work with him, but had no luck. Then he heard from a casino in California that had a unique hiring policy.
Robert Krauss is the Vice President of Public Safety at Pechanga Casino & Resort, and is a Marine Corps veteran himself. “A mutual friend of [mine and John’s] who works here was telling me John couldn’t find a job and was really having a rough time. So I told him to get us in touch with each other and I invited John for coffee,” says Krauss. “The rest is history. After meeting with John for a few minutes, I knew we had to do something. I had heard and seen the same story too many other times.”
Krauss initiated a six-legged security program at the casino, in which Krauss hires veterans and their service dogs as public safety specialists. John and his shelter-rescue dog Daisy are the inaugural human-canine duo. The casino plans to add 60 legs to the security team, hiring 10 more veterans and their service dogs. Future four-legged candidates will be evaluated by John, who is especially knowledgeable about service dogs because he spends time volunteering with “Next Step Service Dogs,” the very non-profit from which he got Daisy.
After years of growing anxiety and depression, now that John has his service dog Daisy and a job, he finally feels like his life is his own again.
Salute to Veterans Series Airs on Veterans Day, offering insightful discussion, resources and solutions for the ongoing issues our military veterans face daily.
We honor those who have served in the US Armed Forces and those who continue to serve. The television program Salute to Veterans airs on Veterans Day, offering insightful discussion, resources and solutions for the ongoing issues our military veterans face daily.
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