Race raises funds for service dogs

Race raises funds for service dogs
Barney's Race for Warriors runners start at the sound of the airhorn (Source: WALB)
Barney's Race for Warriors runners start at the sound of the airhorn (Source: WALB)
Mosley pets Jolly while he lays on the grass (Source: WALB)
Mosley pets Jolly while he lays on the grass (Source: WALB)
Anna Hendley, Barney's Race for Warriors Co-Chair (Source: WALB)
Anna Hendley, Barney's Race for Warriors Co-Chair (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Saturday morning, a few extra paws joined runners at the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany.

Racers and supporters alike showed their passion for supporting veterans this morning.

Mark Mosley, Army National Guard Veteran, from Atlanta said the support from this race changed his life.

The race made it possible for him to get a $15,000 service dog, Jolly, for free just over two years ago.

More than 160 participants raced to raise funds for a support dog through the "K9 for Warriors" nonprofit program.

It's all to help active duty military members and veterans, like Mosley.

"Being there 24/7 you know in the classroom in the bed, that was definitely a change for me. He is my battle buddy he is there with me all the time," said Mosley.

Mosley said Jolly helps ease his post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.

He served in the Army National Guard from 2007 to 2013 and received multiple spinal cord fractures, hearing loss, a traumatic brain injury and damage to his knees.

"It has been challenging," said Mosley.

The "K9s for Warriors program" and Saint Paul's Episcopal Church in Albany made it possible for Mosley to get Jolly two and a half years ago.

He was one of the first dogs, Anna Hendley, Race Co-Chair, helped adopt for a service member.

"To see how these vets react with the dogs and how it betters their lives, is just amazing," Hendley said.

With Jolly's help, Mosley has been thriving.

"He just sits and watches. He'll nudge up against me if I get emotionally distraught, nudging, jump up on me, try to play with me so it's that mental side," said Mosley.

For now Jolly is truly man's best friend.

"He is the heartful companion that I know someday I'm going to lose, but I never want to. So that's the sad reality," said Mosley.

Hendley said supporters raised around $30,000.

That's enough money to buy their 6th and 7th support dogs for veterans and active duty military members.

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