Mya is a veteran of the U.S. Army. She served in Iraq as a combat medic. Even in the hostile environment of a battlefield, she remembered she was a soldier. “As a soldier,” she said, “you don’t want people to see your softer side.” Many would call Mya a hero for doing such a difficult job.
But sometimes, even a hero needs help.
Rescue out of Reach
Mya’s experiences in combat led her to develop PTSD. She spent most of her time isolated in her room. “I was scared to be around people,” she said; crowds were especially terrifying for her. When she did go out, she carried a pack of tissues around in case she started crying. At one point, it became too much for her to bear on her own. She became suicidal, going so far to plan as how she would do it.
Near her breaking point, Mya found out about Train A Dog, Save A Warrior (TADSAW). TADSAW is an organization based in San Antonio, TX. The organization takes dogs from shelters and trains them to be service dogs. Mya contacted TADSAW and found out that there was a service dog for her. But her rescue was out of reach: Mya lives in South Carolina, and travel was too expensive.
Help from Above
Angel Wings for Veterans helped Mya by providing airline tickets to San Antonio. The thought of traveling was stressful, but Mya broke the task down. Packing her suitcase, getting to the airport, getting on a plane – it all happened. “Setting little goals gave me the confidence to keep moving forward.”
Watson, the service dog, was ready to meet her. Upon meeting Watson, Mya’s heart overflowed with joy – and some spilled from her eyes. Watson put his paws on Mya’s shoulders in a “hug” and licked the tears off of her face.
New Life for a Hero
Watson has changed Mya’s life for the better. “He’s opened doors in a lot of ways,” Mya said.
Being involved in the community is one open door. Recently, Mya started volunteering through her church. She also volunteers at a juvenile detention center, mentoring young inmates.
With Watson by her side, Mya is much happier. “My cheeks are sore from smiling,” she says. The tissues she used to carry around for crying are now used for occasional spills from Watson’s dog bowl. She knows her challenges aren’t over, but can face them with optimism.
Angel Wings for Veterans is dedicated to helping veterans like Mya. When the burden is too much for a veteran to carry alone, Angel Wings for Veterans enables them to obtain a service dog – a hero’s best friend.