Wounded vets receive guide dogs

By Peter Schaller - email
Posted by Rachel Leigh - email

LAKE WORTH, FL (WFLX) - Two veterans receive a life-changing gift: Two guide dogs trained to help the men out with everyday things many of us take for granted. The men served in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. One of the vets was there when the Pentagon was hit on 911.

It costs $25,000 to get one of these puppies trained and ready for a handicapped owner; however, it didn't cost Army Sergeant Ryan Christian Major or Sergeant First Class Justin Menyard a penny.

Major joined the Army right after high school. An IED in Iraq took both his legs and some of his fingers. The 25-year-old's independence was gone. "It's really frustrating asking people for help."

But his new helper has tricks up his sleeve and life just got easier. "It's just amazing. He's beautiful."

The dogs will help their new owners with the everyday things, but, the men say, they're most excited about the companionship.

Lucky, a Labrador, was assigned to Menyard. He has PSTD and a spinal cord injury. With another surgery just weeks away, Justin looks forward to this bedside buddy in the hospital. "Whatever I need that he can do, he'll do it for me."

A new start for both of these wounded soldiers thanks to the Paws 4 Liberty program. They donated and trained the service dogs.  The owners have incredible battlefield stories from wars fought at home and overseas.

To help them out with donations visit the Paws 4 Liberty Web site.