Service dog helps Albany veteran overcome PTSD - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Service dog helps Albany veteran overcome PTSD

Camo is a service dog who is helping a veteran who was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder. (Source: WALB) Camo is a service dog who is helping a veteran who was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder. (Source: WALB)
Camo helped Larry brighten up the day for kids at the Family Tree Development Center on Thursday. (Source: WALB) Camo helped Larry brighten up the day for kids at the Family Tree Development Center on Thursday. (Source: WALB)
The two said that they are thankful for the funds the community gave for Larry to be able to get Camo and now they want to give back. (Source: WALB) The two said that they are thankful for the funds the community gave for Larry to be able to get Camo and now they want to give back. (Source: WALB)
Pam and Larry (Source: WALB) Pam and Larry (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

A chocolate lab has changed the life of a man who fought for our country.

He got the dog thanks to generous support from the community. 

Larry and his caregiver brought their service dog to a preschool on Thursday to tell kids their story. 

Caregiver Pam Barfield and Larry said that the chocolate lab changed their lives.

Larry served in Iraq from November 2006 to March 2007. When he got back home, life just wasn't the same. 

"It was very difficult for him to be out in public," said Barfield.

Larry was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

"We immediately sought medical attention and he went to a therapist and doctor," explained Barfield. 

That's when they learned about K9's for Warriors, a non profit organization out of Florida dedicated to providing service dogs to those who served overseas post 9/11 and are suffering from trauma. 

"There is a pheromone that anybody gives off when they are under stress. When he is having a panic attack, or a flashback or if he is having a nightmare, Camo senses that and he reacts to that. 

For the past four year's Saint Paul's Episcopal Church and the Deerfield-Windsor school have raised money with Barney's Run for Warriors to pay for people in Albany to get the canines, that's how Larry got Camo. 

"He has made a tremendous difference in Larry's life," explained Barfield. "It's much easier for him to get out in public with Camo." 

It's the reason Larry could bring Camo to the Family Tree Development Center to put smiles on the pre-school children's faces on Thursday.

The two said that they are thankful for the funds the community gave for Larry to be able to get Camo and now they want to give back. 

"It was nice to know that people in the community were concerned in that they wanted to do something to help," said Barfield.

Because at the end of the day, the community helped add another member to Pam and Larry's family. 

"He is a regular dog when he has his vest off, he knows when he has his vest on, he's working," explained Barfield.

Anyone interested in helping fund a service dog, Barney's Run for Warriors is taking place again this Saturday.

The one mile run, 5K, 10K and half marathon will all be held at the Marine Corps Logistics Base.

The races begin at 8:30 a.m., the one mile is at 9:00 a.m., and registration is from 7 a.m. to 8:15 a.m.

For more information, contact Debbie Godwin by phone at (229) 436-0196 or by email at debbiegodwin@stgpaulsalbany.org.  

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