Meet Spirit: Local veteran shares how service dog has impacted his life

JACKSON, Tenn. — Mental health is an important topic for everybody, and veterans are no exception.

Statistics are showing nearly 22 veterans that have been diagnosed with PTSD are committing suicide a day, according to the Military Veteran Project.

Organizations like K9s for Warriors are helping to change lives who been affected by PTSD, by providing our veterans with service dogs.

A local retired Air Force Veteran, Ken Heath, shares on the light that his dog Spirit has brought into his life.

“Spirit has been a gift since the day she was born. Her entire litter was donated to be a service dog,” Heath said. “I met Spirit, I started realizing that now I had somebody that I had a dog that was watching my back all the time.”

Heath states that he received Spirit in January, marking this as 10 months together.

He recalls, “They opened the door to the exercise yard and I saw her, and everything they said went ‘whomp, whomp, whomp’ right out the window. I said, that’s my service dog. I fell down on my knees, I started crying, and Spirit, as you can tell is kind of mellow. As soon as she saw me, she started pulling away from her trainer to get to me and ran over and jumped up in my arms.”

Spirit has helped Heath in many ways, like anxiety with driving, providing companionship, being in crowds, and more.

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Categories: Local News, Madison County, News