This is wonderful story about "a welcome chaos" for veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, thanks to Paws & Affect. (spoiler alert! chaos = dogs)
Veteran with PTSD tells his story: Mitch Chapman of DeWitt talks about the night he was injured while serving in Afghanistan. He was injured in the blast and now lives with PTSD. Mitch is getting help through a program called "Paws & Affect," where a service dog helps him cope.
Eight men who suffered war stood shoulder to shoulder in a crooked line. One Iraq war veteran leaned on his good leg, the other scheduled for amputation. A Vietnam vet stood back two steps, unsteady since 9/11 when long-buried war demons revisited.
Mitch Chapman fidgeted. His legs had to pump. That’s the way it was since the armored truck he was driving in Afghanistan hit a bomb and corkscrewed backward. He hung upside down, held by a harness. After he was pulled from the truck, the vision of a lifeless leg that stuck out from under it lodged in his mind.
The men faced another eager, pacing lineup — Labrador retrievers in crates. They were ready to be released and meet the men for the first time.
All hell broke loose. This time, a day in March at a dog training arena called Canine Craze in Urbandale, it was a welcome chaos. The dogs circled and sniffed and romped. A dog named Merit went straight to Chapman, who lowered to a knee.
“Anyone notice a dog that has taken an interest in you?” hollered Nicole Shumate, a dog trainer who acts like a drill sergeant.
There was something about this 18-month-old dog Merit, who kept circling Chapman. This could be the one, the dog who could help him feel normal again.