Thursday, November 5, 2009

Meet Me

My name is Ryan M. I was born in Charleston, WV and raised in Ripley, WV. I am 27 years old and am currently attending college at WVUP. I’d like to transfer to Fairmont State University in the spring. Right now I am undecided on a major but I’ll get there when the time comes. Until then, I’m getting my general classes out of the way.

I enlisted in the Army when I was 19 years old (October 29th, 2001), and served in the Army Infantry for 5 years. I was deployed to Iraq on February 22nd, 2004. I was only deployed the one time but during that time, I received a gunshot wound to the right forearm; two more rounds to the chest that were stopped by my bullet proof vest and then one more round hit me in the helmet. Six out of seven people in my squad were hit that day with one KIA, Sgt. Jacob Demand; he was my squad leader and a good friend. A year after I got back from deployment, I was diagnosed with PTSD. I was medically discharged from the Army on Sept. 3 2006; honorably and retired. My rank when I retired was SPC E4.

I heard about paws4vetsTM from my Army Wounded Warriors (AW2) Advocate, Mr. Clay Rankin and his Service Dog, ARCHIE. Through paws4vetsTM, I am currently in the process of being paired up with SADIE, a Rehabilitative Assistance Dog. When I met SADIE, we had a one-on-one session where she laid down next to me and put her head in my lap; that’s when I felt she was the dog for me. I believe that SADIE will help me by being a battle buddy. She will help me at night when I can’t sleep or when I get scared. She will be there for me when I go places that make me nervous and uneasy. We will be together 24/7.