…by Jonas E. Alexis, VT Editor, and Bobby Bones
Bobby Bones is an Award-winning media personality and New York Times bestselling author. He believes that a service dog can provide life-changing help for veterans suffering from PTSD and other post-combat challenges.
Bones, the host of the nationally syndicated radio show, The Bobby Bones Show, and the upcoming travel TV show titled, Breaking Bobby Bones, is on a mission with Dog Chow to help spread the word about the impact service dogs can have as well as help more veterans get these special dogs through donations and federal legislation.
JEA: When did you start thinking about paying tribute to our veterans?
BB: Many years ago on the radio show, we found out that service dogs were extremely expensive. So we started as a show, raising money and gifting service dogs to veterans. And once we found out they were over $20,000 a year, we couldn’t believe it. So, we knew that if you come back and you’re fighting overseas and you’ve had some crazy trauma, you need some sort of therapy for some of the vets. That’s what it was. So, it had been a few years ago whenever we started to actually acknowledge and raise money to get service dogs to vets.
JEA: Flesh out some of the problems that lead to PTSD.
BB: When you’re talking about PTSD, you know, I’ve suffered it mildly just from being jumped here in the States. And that’s nothing compared to what these guys are doing, fighting for our freedom overseas, where they’re in unfamiliar places, getting shot at getting that bombs could be anywhere. You know, even if nothing happens to them, they’re always in danger of losing their life or, or being injured. So PTSD is different for everyone. And any way that I and we can help, you know, I’ve totally been on board with that.
JEA: What are some of the steps that we can take to pay tribute to our veterans?
BB: I think the most important step to pay tribute to our veterans is just educating yourself on what they need. You know, I’m a big believer of ‘tell people what you need’ because they can actually provide it for you. And they’re trying. And at times, I think if people found out, they would help – that was the situation with us. We found out that the dogs were needed. So we got them. I would just suggest people Google. It’s the simplest thing to see what they could do to help a veteran nearby.
BB: It’s super easy to get involved by buying Dog Chow. You know, if you buy a specially marked bag now through Thanksgiving, Dog Chow will make a donation of up to a hundred thousand bucks to their two partner service dog organizations, the pets and vets program at Tony Larussa’s Animal Rescue Foundation and Got Your Six Support Dogs. So there’s that, there’s also current legislation out there to help veterans get service dog called Paws for Veterans Therapy Act. It’s been passed by the house, but awaiting Senate approval. And you go over to dogchow.com/service and when you send the email to your senators there, the email’s done too. All you have to do is just go and agree. There you go. Just hit send right there.
JEA: How many veterans do we have that are struggling with PTSD?
BB: Well, there are 18 million vets in America and approximately 20% of them suffer from PTSD, which is about 3.6 million people, which is crazy.