COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Healing 4 Heroes is a non-profit group in Atlanta who trains service dogs for veterans for free, helping them with their transition out of the military.
Each dog they train is a rescue animal that come from places like pet supermarkets and shelters.
“There’s a certain comfort in knowing that he doesn’t leave my side,” said veteran Jacob Robideaux.
Medical conditions like anxiety, PTSD, depression and traumatic brain injuries, also know as TBIs, often result from combat.
Jacob Robideaux is a 15-year veteran retired out of Fort Benning and his service dog Zack has spared his life in many situations. He to suffers from a TBI now, which causes him to lose his balance.
“Due to my TBI, my balance is off a lot and I do have times where I fall and sometimes on my good days when my back isn’t acting up, I’ll go without my cane, but If I fall he’s my cane basically,” said Robideaux.
Piper Hill served overseas for over 20 years and also retired at Fort Benning. She started Healing 4 Heroes after suffering a TBI and training her own dog.
Now she is helping other veterans with their transitions.
“I had a dog that laid by my bed the whole 3, almost 4 years I was in bed unable to walk or move," said Hill. “Like I said, remember who I was, and I trained that dog to go get my meds because I didn’t have enough sense to put my meds next to the bed.”
The free program for veterans is a 5-day training course where they receive a certificate of completion. Healing 4 Heroes also offers regular trained companions without the service dog qualification.