This Veteran’s Family Surprised Him With A Service Dog And He Couldn’t Suppress His Emotions
After years spent on the battlefield, Rudy Pena couldn’t seem to escape the pressure of his memories. But his family recently surprised him with a life-changing puppy to be his very own service dog, and he could hardly hold back his tears!
Rudy Pena’s Bravery In Battle
For veterans suffering from PTSD, service dogs can serve as crucial tools in recovery. However, the cost of these life-changing pups can often be extremely expensive. Many find they can’t afford the steep price and care costs, including Rudy Pena, who thought he would never get his chance to own a service dog.
Pena is a father of two from Amarillo, Texas, who served as an Army Combat Medic. He tackled multiple tours – including two in Afghanistan – during his time in service. After 10 years, Pena left the armed forces to receive cancer treatment. However, upon his return home, his family began to worry about his emotional wellbeing.
The Struggle With PTSD
When Pena came back to Texas, it was clear that he brought many scarring memories back with him. He began to suffer from extreme PTSD and experienced night terrors and depression as a result. His wife, Samantha, was desperate to support him, but she often felt helpless.
“We’ve tried everything possible…there is no cure and memories never go away,” Samantha shared. “He’s seen his brothers die in his arms and the memories haunt him.” The family looked into a variety of treatments and were hopeful that a service dog could help. However, the cost was more than they could afford. But soon, Samantha found a miracle solution.
A Breeder’s Life-Altering Blessing
Thankfully, Samantha was able to track down a breeder who was willing to charge significantly less than the usual $20-$30K to provide a trained dog for Pena. Samantha immediately snatched the little labrador up to surprise her husband! And when she and their two children presented the canine to Pena, he couldn’t hold back his emotions.
Pena cried as he met his puppy, Justice, for the very first time! His children, Trever and Adrian, presented him with a sweet letter letting him know what the canine was trained for. Since they met, Pena and Justice have been inseparable. The pup has already begun to calm him down in his worst moments! Pena is super grateful, sharing, “He’s my battle buddy for life.” Watch their meeting!
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