11 September 2019

A Veterans Story with Service Dogs

Guardian Angels Story Guardian Angels began in 2009, when our Founder & Executive Director, Carol Borden was approached by Sam, a young man tragically ...

[Applause]

thank you I would like now to introduce one of our service dog teams this is John Kelly and the infamous Ranger if any of you don't know who Ranger is Ranger is one of our little bit older dogs he was busy before we could pair him with his veteran because he narrated a book for us and he was busy doing book tours and photographs and so but now he has gone on to live the dream that he talked about in his book and he is now serving his veteran John Kelly morning first I want to thank Carol Tony Cable Duquesne University thank you so much for putting this together this is a wonderful wonderful event and it's something that means a lot to people like me I'm a a husband a father a veteran a paratrooper and I'm lucky to be alive as recently as July of this year I was in a place that was so dark so all-encompassing so suffocating and so terrible that I had serious commitment to no longer being here serious commitment it was about May when I came across the idea of guardian angels and medical service dogs for PTSD I didn't know a lot about it and I I had heard and done some research

for service dogs but it wasn't a clear idea over the course of my application period I met the wonderful people like guardian angels down in Florida and they were truly inspiring wonderful it was a place of hope I said to myself I'm gonna light this play out I'm going to attempt to make it but if I go down to Florida and I can no not make a connection with the service dog that's provided to me I'm not coming back it was something I didn't share with my wife it was something I didn't share with my family and as I said before I'm lucky to be alive and I wouldn't say luck as much as a miracle guardian angels gave me the best friend and he loves to sleep he's a sleeper they gave me the best friend advocate battle buddy that I could ever ask for arrangement he saved my life I remind Tony of this every time we talk he says welcome home I say no you saved my life so that's much more important it is truly unbelievable what these dogs can do for people I share my story and the reality of how close I came to committing suicide not for an emotional moment not for a convenient plug but to

put a face on a real issue that faces this country something that takes up the 22 veterans lives a day we have in front of us Antonio mondo in guardian angels medical service dogs an answer it is a true answer and I can tell you from personal experience if we could just put every veteran with a service dog that number would be zero so I implore you to continue to support continue to donate continue to advocate continue to hug a veteran on Veterans Day because for every one of me remember there are 22 others that we will never ever get to hug kiss thank shake hands with ever again god bless you Carol god bless guardian angels medical service dogs I thank you so much and God bless you Tony without you I would not be here thank you so much for being here thank you so much for supporting the cause it benefits people like me thank you [Applause]