Local veteran Richard Baca, II, is back from Camp K9 in Ponte Vedra, Florida, and is bonding with his new service dog, Jersey.
Baca, a 26-year military veteran who struggles with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was assigned the service dog through the nonprofit organization K9s for Warriors. As part of their program, Baca recently completed a three-week course at the training facility with two-year-old Jersey.
“I learned his name was Jersey because Jersey Mike’s Subs donated the money for him,” said Baca. “I am eternally grateful — Jersey has given me hope and a whole new outlook on life and my future.”
K9s for Warriors is the nation’s largest provider of service dogs for American veterans with PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, and/or military sexual trauma. In K9s For Warriors’ unique program, disabled veterans mitigate PTSD symptoms through the use of task-centered dog commands taught by professional trainers. The life-saving training provided helps veterans reintegrate into civilian society with dignity and independence. Warriors reside on K9s For Warriors’ campus for three weeks and receive 120 hours of instruction prior to service dog team graduation.
"A staggering number of veterans returning from combat suffer from PTSD – the invisible wounds of war," said Rory Diamond, CEO, K9s For Warriors. "To date, we've been able to help nearly 320 military heroes by pairing them with a service dog that has been trained for their specific needs. We are so grateful for this funding and support from Jersey Mike’s Subs; it will help our organization continue to provide life-saving service dogs to veterans that urgently need our help.”
About Jersey Mike’s
Jersey Mike’s, a fast-casual sub sandwich franchise with more than 1,500 locations open and under development nationwide, believes that making a sub sandwich and making a difference can be one and the same. Jersey Mike’s offers A Sub Above®, serving authentic fresh sliced subs on freshly baked bread – the same recipe it started with in 1956 – and is passionate about giving back to its local communities. For more information, please visit www.jerseymikes.com or follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/jerseymikes) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/jerseymikes).
About K9s For Warriors
K9s For Warriors is dedicated to providing service canines to warriors suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and Military Sexual Trauma as a result of injuries incurred during military service post-9/11. The canines used in the program are carefully evaluated, former rescue/shelter dogs or owner surrenders. To date, 312 veterans have been matched to service dogs. Give a new leash on life to rescue dogs and military heroes. Find more information at www.k9sforwarriors.org
Military Veteran Richard Baca with his new service dog Jersey.