After being diagnosed with PTSD, John Tappen tried everything from drugs to therapy to friends, but instead of feeling better, John started to consider suicide as an option. His parents felt helpless. Nothing worked, until the former flight engineer who had enlisted in the US Navy following 9/11 was finally introduced to a poodle named Henry. "Seeing him was like taking the best medication I've ever taken, because I knew for the first time that things were going to be going in a positive way." For K9s For Warriors, the organization who helped John, the mission is about "saving lives at both ends of the leash". They have rescued more than 2,000 dogs from shelters and have paired service dogs with more than 850 veterans suffering from PTSD, traumatic brain injury and/or military sexual assault trauma, with undisputable results: "82% of the graduates have a reduction in suicidal thoughts, and 92% reduce their dependence on medication”. They hope John’s story will encourage more veterans to ask for help. As for Susan, John’s mother, she is convinced that she has Henry to thank for the life of a son she once feared she had lost.

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