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Sue (Nick's Mom)


From Sue (Nick's Mom) and Winston

Twenty five hundred miles; on the opposite end of the country, is a long distance. It’s also a long way on the other end of a phone call to hear anger, sadness and a sense of being lost. It’s also difficult to deal with the fact that I have been completely unable to “help”. A couple of months ago, help was on the way....................

I am proud that Nick actively pursued the military and saw many changes in him over the years ... good and not so good. The past several years have been particularly rough. I only have a hint of a few details but have also “heard” a lot of despair, unhappiness and anger. This was compounded by his marriage and subsequent divorce. Over the years, I could only listen and allow Nick to “vent” over the phone. PTSD is ugly.

Several months ago Nick told me he qualified to receive a service dog through a program called Vets to Vets. He was very excited and still struggling at the same time. All the energy he had was spent to go to his VA appts, school, work and participate in the service dog training program.

Since Nick brought Winston home, I have seen and heard significant and positive changes in Nick. Wow.................

Nick smiles. He has goals; and is working toward them with school, work and home. He has a purpose. Holidays are hard for all of us and he did awesome. He is proud of his achievements, large and small. He laughs, and he makes me laugh. He’s positive. Something I haven’t seen in a long time ... he has empathy.

He talks about Winston all the time and how good he feels when he’s around. I can see it too while Winston, Nick, and his dad and I Skype. I can hear it in his voice. Nick is much happier and more focused. Knowing Winston is there with Nick, I actually worry less. I am happy and proud of the commitment Nick has made to Winston and the program. I knew he was committed when he was willing to make the drive for training. I have had the opportunity to see what Winston and Nick have learned over Skype and it is truly amazing and heartwarming. His dog has made a such a positive difference.

I am deeply grateful to Vets to Vets United for their commitment, dedication and hard work to this program; and to people like my son. From my perspective and personal observations ... it truly works. Please accept my heartfelt thanks to you and your organization. I hope to meet you in person one day to thank you personally.

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