Group surprises North Texas veteran with service dog

Veteran surprised with service dog for Christmas

MESQUITE - Stephen Robb Jr., of Mesquite, served three combat tours with the Army. He has likely seen more during that combat than most will see in their lifetime.

"I was in the Army eight years," he said. "I went to Iraq three times."

He is understandably quiet about the challenges he faces since coming home. Namely the PTSD that, as he describes it, has him "constantly looking over my back." He has sleepless nights and anxious days.

The America's Defenders Foundation saw Robb's need and provided the vet with a service dog.

Lailani Rumfield told WFAA that the foundation had a young Belgian Malinois named "Rocky" trained to meet Robb's specific needs. This breed is commonly used by law enforcement and the military.

"From the get-go you have that connection; they understand that without knowing anything," said Aaron Howell, with the Kilo-Frie Kennels.

Howell is a former K-9 officer and a veteran. He now works with dogs and adapts them to owners who need assistance.

"I've been exactly where he was at ... I've struggled and we all do," said Howell of coming home after combat.

The struggle is still real. PTSD doesn't instantly go away, but now Robb isn't facing it alone. The dog was provided free-of charge. A local vet has also donated two years worth of vaccinations.

Robb is excited to show the dog to his family. And to other veterans he has a message, "Find something to hold on to. It doesn't matter what it is ... find something to hold on to."

© 2018 WFAA-TV


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