Almost two years ago I received an email from OAE's first veteran Eddie. It was beautifully written, well thought out and eloquent. I followed the email up with a phone call to a man who literally said 3 words throughout the entire conversation (I now lovingly refer to that phone call as one of the most painful 4 minutes of my life). Two weeks later I had the pleasure of finally meeting Ed when he arrived at my house for training. I approached to introduce myself and he immediately took one very obvious giant step away from me. I immediately thought, maybe I'm in over my head..... But we trucked on and it wasn't easy. I'm a pretty open person. I don't believe in awkward silences and I can strike up a conversation with anyone from anywhere like I have known them my whole life.. well almost anyone...Eddie was really hell bent on putting that part of my personality to the test. Lesson after lesson of few words and no eye contact; I used to lean down to try to catch his eye while he stared at the street and say "Is this your happy face?" Finally I just reached out to his wife, "I don't know what to do, he hates me and I need him to like me enough to let me help him" I was reassured that he liked me so we continued.

Almost two years later and Eddie is at an indoor water park with his family and his service dog Callie. He is texting me pictures and telling me that, while it's still hard, it's easier with her there because instead of worrying about shooters he is focused on his dog. He is hands down one of my most favorite people to talk to and spend time with. He is smart, observant and loyal and I am grateful everyday for our friendship and all the things he teaches me. It is truly amazing how much can change in two years.

Fall Events!

We know the summer isn't in full gear yet, but yes, we are planning for our fall line up of events.  Mark your calendars and share... we have some great events planned all to benefit Operation At Ease Inc! 

Thank you...Glennpeter Jewelers Diamond Centre Bootleggers On Broadway


Bob and Dakota

When Bob lost his service dog Sammy unexpectedly, we were all devastated and very worried about Bob. Sammy was such a shining light in his life that we were all concerned that the loss of this dog would shut him down and cause him to isolate himself. We couldn't have been more wrong. Hours after Sammy's passing, Bob's wife sent Joni a text message telling her that Bob said that Sammy taught him he wanted to live his life. Could she please get him another dog?  We're happy to report that Bob has been matched with his SDIT Dakota. Thank you to Animal Protective Foundation for helping us match this new team!

Senators Fischer and Booker Reintroduce PAWS Act

The PAWS Act directs the VA to implement a five-year pilot program to provide service dogs to veterans who were diagnosed with, and continue to suffer from, PTSD. Under the pilot program, the VA would connect veterans with eligible organizations that train service dogs, and provide a grant to the organizations on behalf of the veteran for a service dog pairing. Veterans would receive follow-up support from the service dog provider for the rest of the dog’s life.

Read more about the PAWS Act