Atlas has a long-standing and proud partnership with K9s For Warriors, the nation’s largest provider of trained Service Dogs to military veterans suffering from PTSD, traumatic brain injury and/or military sexual trauma. Last year, the Company’s first sponsored Service Dog, Atlas, graduated the program and was matched with his Warrior, U.S. Army Veteran, Zoe.
In January, we announced that the Company sponsored two more dogs, Titan and Polar, who were currently in training and would be matched with a Warrior upon graduation.
We are happy to report that Titan graduated from his training program on January 26 and has been matched with his Warrior, Thomas, a U.S. Army veteran from Tennessee.
Thomas served in the Army as a combat medic for 15 years and shared with us that although the job was incredibly rewarding, the exposure to unprocessed trauma led to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety and a loss of self-worth.
He explained, “I applied to K9s For Warriors because I wasn’t sure what else could be done to help me. I tried medications, went to countless therapists, and had essentially withdrawn from living a normal life by giving up friendships and even sacrificing some of my relationships with my family. The final straw was the seemingly never-ending battle with suicidal ideation and feelings of worthlessness that led me to withdraw from those who I love the most, my wife and sons. I truly believed they would be better off without me.”
Although it’s only been a month since being matched, Titan and Thomas are well on their way to building a strong bond and have enjoyed outings that have included mini golf and the Jacksonville Zoo.
When asked how K9s For Warriors and Titan specifically have already made an impact, Thomas said “Titan has brought me an inner peace that I haven’t felt for some time. He has given me hope that I can get my life back.”
Gary Wade, Senior Vice President, Security attended Titan’s graduation and met both Thomas and Titan.
“Thomas was so grateful to Atlas for sponsoring Titan,” said Gary. “I’m so glad I had a chance to meet them both and I look forward to seeing Thomas and Titan in September at the Atlas Air Worldwide Charity Golf Tournament.”
“K9s For Warriors is an incredible organization to work with, not only helping me get paired with a Service Dog, but also showing me what doors having a Service Dog can open back up for me,” said Thomas. “The opportunity to be paired with a Service Dog as a veteran who suffers from PTSD allows me to not only resume parts of my life that I had given up on but to also pursue happiness again. Since Titan has entered my life, I find myself laughing more, engaging with people that I did not previously engage with, and spending more time in public than I have in years.”
Thomas added, “I didn’t think that it was possible to build such a strong bond with Titan in such a short amount of time but I was wrong. He truly has given me a new lease on life and being part of the K9s For Warriors family not only gives me strength to be the person that I want to be but gives me hope that I can be the person that I once was before.”
Polar, Atlas’s third Service Dog, is currently in training and will be matched with his own Warrior later this year. Watch this space for more updates!