Saving lives two at a time
By Brian Bowden

There is no better feeling of patriotism than from serving your country in the military, but Jerry Lyda has already been there and done that.
The Navy veteran served in the Vietnam War from 1969 to 1973. Now Lyda looks elsewhere for his continued patriotic feeling, specifically an organization he started himself years ago.
"It was something that has always been in my mind," said Lyda. "I just had a feeling that I needed to do something and I didn't know what."
Veterans K-9 Solutions, is what came about. Itís an organization that is dedicated to helping military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, cope with their diagnosis through the help of a furry four-legged friend. A friend that has been rescued and given a new purpose in life, similar to that of the veteran.
"Here we are going to the pounds and taking this sad-eyed puppy that is going to be put down and giving him a new lease on life," said Lyda. "And at the same time helping a veteran do the same thing."
Lyda trains the canines to be service dogs, something he says is an ongoing process, before handing them over to the diagnosed veterans. This part of the process is nothing new to him though.
"I was 12-years-old when I trained my first dog," said Lyda. The only difference is that he is now training man's best friend for a greater purpose.
"It just hit one day that I ought to be doing this," said Lyda. "I have all this knowledge behind me. I understand what's going on with dogs and I pretty much understand what's going on with my brothers and their PTSD."

To read more on this story, pick up the Thursday, May 1, edition of The McDuffie Progress.





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