Canine Companion Program For Veterans Halted With No Explanation

If there is one thing that this country must do to maintain its compassion and sanity, it is taking care of the men and women who risk it all to protect our freedoms.

For far too long, our nation has been remiss in our duty to our veterans.  These brave Americans are sacrificing their time, energy, relationships, and safety in order to help us maintain our way of life, and there is nothing that we should not be doing for them once they arrive back home from their duty.

On any given day, there are a litany of complaints to be had about the way our nation interacts with those who fight for us, many coming from within the healthcare world.  Soldiers returning from battle are often in need of specially-crafted medical and mental treatment, and those needs aren’t often met with the kind of hasty response we expect.

In the case of one particularly helpful program that paired veterans with service dogs, the entire arrangement up and vanished seemingly overnight just before Halloween.

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“The Warrior Canine Connection, a program that uses an army of volunteer puppy raisers, dog trainers and veterans to prepare service dogs for wounded veterans and their families, has been partnering with military facilities in the D.C. region since 2009.

“But suddenly — and without explanation — that came to a stop, says Warrior Canine Connection Executive Director Rick Yount.
“He said his trainers and puppy raisers at Fort Belvoir and at two locations on the campus of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, were told on Oct. 27th to vacate their offices that afternoon.

“’At two o’clock in the afternoon, I received a phone call saying there was a stop work order. There was no explanation whatsoever as to why that was the decision,’ Yount said.

“Asked if there had been an issue with the program, problems with staff or an incident at either of the military sites, Yount said he hasn’t heard anything.

“’We’re trying to get answers. Why would — all of the sudden — a program be halted that was serving patients?’ Yount asked.”

According to sources close to the program, there were no indications that the Warrior Canine Connection was in trouble, and no incidents of dog or veteran behavioral issues to point to.

When it comes to our veterans, Americans truly cannot afford to spare any expense.  Whether they come home walking or not, these brave Americans have put it all on the line for us and they deserve our utmost compassion and attention when it comes to their reintegration into society.  Programs such as Warrior Canine Connection provide these heroes with an opportunity to make a difference while they readjust, and the sudden cancelation of these sessions is worrisome and unacceptable.


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