Surf dog Ricochet has traded her life jacket for a Santa suit to kick off her 4th annual Surfin' Santa Paws Howliday Giving Drive, which starts December 1 and goes through Christmas day! This year it benefits several military re-integration programs for soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and other combat injuries. The drive also includes military working dogs that are injured or suffer PTSD.
This past summer, Ricochet had the privilege of utilizing her goal-directed therapy dog certification to work with members of our military with PTSD, TBI and other combat injuries through Pawsitive Teams Canine Inspired Community Re-integration program. She learned how important these programs are for our returning soldiers.
According to reports, traumatic brain injury is the “signature injury” for the current war in Iraq and Afghanistan. PTSD affects one in five active duty soldiers and/or veterans. And at least 10% of military working dogs have developed canine PTSD.
It is very difficult for some of these soldiers to re-integrate back into day-to-day life after they have been engulfed in war and/or injured. They leave for combat as young men and women. But, when they return, they are forever changed with life-altering injuries. They experience anxiety, stress, flashbacks, sleep disorders, nightmares, detachment, depression, isolation, survivor guilt, pain, hyper-vigilance, alcohol or substance abuse and more.
These soldiers and military working dogs have sacrificed everything for our freedom. Now Ricochet is urging everyone to make one small sacrifice and forego a simple pleasure for one day. Take the money you would normally spend on a cup of coffee, lunch, a movie, etc. and make a tax deductible donation at http://bit.ly/SantaPawsMilitaryGivingDrive.
Ricochet sincerely thanks the members of our military for their dedication and service. She also thanks everyone who donates to this Military Giving Drive to raise awareness of these vital programs that help our injured soldiers. The funds donated will benefit the following re-integration programs:
The Balboa Warrior Athlete/Recreational Therapy Program restores and rehabilitates wounded, ill and injured soldiers’ level of function and independence in day-to-day life activities.
American Humane Association in partnership with the National Military Family Association's provides “Operation Purple Camps” for children of deployed and returning soldiers.
Warrior Canine Connection teaches service members with PTSD the skill of training mobility service dogs, which are then partnered with soldiers who have mobility impairments.
The Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation supports the recovery of mental and physical illness of soldiers through the healing power of ocean-related activities.
The Wounded Warrior Project provides services to severely injured soldiers who are transitioning to civilian life, including their “Warriors to Work” program.
The United States War Dog Association honors and assists our nation's former and current U.S. military dogs and handlers who provide an invaluable canine service to our country.
Military Working Dog Adoptions helps retiring military working dogs find forever homes. They also work tirelessly for the passage of the “Canine Members of the Armed Forces” bill.
For more information or to donate, visit http://bit.ly/SantaPawsMilitaryGivingDrive.