Bill Thumm and Larry Keating may have returned from war more than 50 years ago but the lasting impacts of PTSD haven’t subsided. On Tuesday both Vietnam army vets finally got the gifts they deserve.
“There was a time when I thought I didn’t deserve it but right now I think I do,” Thumm said. “I think what it’s going to do for me is make me feel good, make me care about things again.”
Both men received service dogs thanks to Paws of War and the Unsung Siblings Foundation as a way to thank them for their service.
“It’s a Christmas present that will go on for many years that will heal and do wonderful things for these two gentlemen,” said Robert Misseri, Founder of Paws of War.
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Paws of War places about six dogs a year with veterans. The dogs go through an extensive yearlong training to meet the needs of each individual owner.
“I have night tremors weekly, as it starts, she’ll pull the blanket off and that’ll stop it from continuing because I don’t remember it when I get up,” Keating said.
It’s a new “leash” on life for not only Thumm and Keating but also their Labradors, 4-month-old Lydia and 4-year-old Midnight who were rescued from Ohio.