It has been the mission of Kent Phyfe, retired SFC of US Army, to support an organization that not only provides service dogs to Veterans who have medical need, but also played a large part in saving his own life.
Service dog Iris is Kent’s hero in so many ways. Learn how you can make a difference by providing support with a donation to America’s VetDogs.
I was medically retired from the Army and felt the pain of rejection because I could no longer do what I was trained to do. Having been the sharp edge of the sword as one of the best of the best, Airborne Infantry Ranger, then Special Forces, only to find that I could no longer do my job because I was physically unable was almost too much to bear. The anger of the past along with the continued progression of my malady continued to eat away at my self worth.
By the time my doctors recommended that I look into getting a service dog I was toying with the open end of my .45 everyday. I felt like a prisoner in my home, unable to function, needing someone to watch me like I was a baby. The loss of my driver’s license because of seizures had such an impact that I gained weight and lost interest in everything.
I applied for Service Dogs through a number of organizations but America’s VetDogs was the only one that came through for me and made it affordable by donating the dog to me at no cost. Something they do for every Veteran!
Iris would wake me for the first time to stop a seizure our 5th day together. Since that time she continues to alert me of health issues, calls the ambulance, has brought my family back together, stopped me from becoming a statistic, and has helped me have a goal in life again. Because of Iris I was also able to get my license back.
Iris not only helps with the physical issues that I have, she has helped with everything I come in contact with. Her being with me everywhere I go opens conversations that I would never have engaged in prior to having her with me. When I have nightmares, she wakes me up. For some reason I never come up swinging like I do with people. We are truly a team that is there for each other, no questions, just like being in a foxhole.
I am 100% disabled and not allowed to work which allows me to dedicate my time to finding ways to raise awareness and money so that other veterans who need service dogs will be able to experience the joys I have. Recently I purchased a camper that is wrapped with a personal campaign to raise awareness and money everywhere Iris and I travel. Our bucket list is to give back tenfold and it will still not be enough to repay what has been gifted to me.
All of this and so much more has happened because of this little rescue out of Georgia who has become my rescuer. The gift of living was given to me. I still have all the medical issues but now life is worth living.
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