We have been doing a Memorial Day Murph workout to give thanks and honor to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. We have also used this opportunity to raise some money for organizations who help surviving verterans.
Today we put our efforts toward Operation Freedom Dogs. OFD trains dogs as companion and full service dogs and matches them with a veteran who is suffering from PTSD.
Recently, one of the veterans who has received a dog posted this on Facebook:
MY DOG SAVED MY LIFE!
by Matthew Weitz
In order to tell this story correctly I need to go back 5 years… Someone asked me to house sit for them while they went out of town and I saw my chance… I was going to take my life. I didn't want to have my mother find me so this was going to be the best chance I got. I drank a lot that night and by 4 in the morning I was in the corner of his living room crying my eyes out holding a loaded pistol… This was the end… God intervened that night and showed me how selfish suicide was so I started trying to end my life other ways… I begin mixing alcohol with prescription drugs… and in large doses… I could tell story after story about how I shouldn't be here and how lucky I am but all you need to know is I kept trying to overdose and God kept allowing me to live. I developed a addiction to my anxiety medication and eventually I allowed it to take total control of my life. If I didn’t have my medicine I didn't eat, sleep or leave my bedroom. I became a complete shut in that was being controlled by something so small. Here I was this combat veteran that served in one of the most prestigious units in the US Army… I had spent 2 ½ years in some of the most dangerous cities in the world and I was allowing a little pill to control my every move. I let this go on for years until one day I decided to take action.. I checked myself in Valley and started detoxing off of my medication. While there I decided I would go to rehab and take total control of my life again. After 30 days in treatment I returned home…. I was freaking out… I was so use to taking a pill and all my anxiety being gone. The world was so loud and chaotic and there was no escape from it all. The world was too much to deal with but no longer could I be weak.. I decided I was going to look into getting a dog because I had read about all the amazing things animals were doing for veterans. In my search for a dog I met one of the best friends I have ever had… Adam Keith. He gave me one of the greatest gifts a man could receive… Happiness… Minutes after meeting me he gave me one of his puppies… Freedom would become one of the best things that ever happened to me. It was hard at first because I didn’t have the patience to deal with a puppy. I had soldiers in the Army so I understood putting something before myself and at first this was the bond we shared. He was my new private and I took care of him like I would have any soldier. I enforced a strict code of discipline and controlled his every move.. This isn’t how you raise a dog and I would soon discover that Freedom wasn’t here to be controlled… he was here to show me how to let lose… how to smile and enjoy the silly side of life. He changed my world completely. The bond we now share is one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced. He doesn’t judge me when I don’t want to go into a crowded place or condemn me for allowing my anger to flare up. This dog loves me and I love him. He hasn’t fixed me or made everything perfect but what he has done is give me a reason to smile… a reason to get up in the morning and a best friend to enjoy life with. I am now 11 months sober and I haven’t thought about suicide in over 6 months and that’s huge for me. No matter what my mood is or how much I want to isolate myself I always have Freedom.. He has given me a gift I could never thank him for… A gift that I want to help as many soldiers as I can find…
Operation Freedom Dogs was formed to give this gift to as many soldiers as possible. Unfortunately this gift is far from free and while we may be able to donate our time we don’t have the financial means to support our organization. This is where we need your help… it doesn’t matter if it is one dollar or one thousand dollars.. every little bit helps. We are now accepting our first group of veterans and will soon start training our first team of soldiers. We need donations for things such as veterinary bills, adoption fees, dog food, cages, kennel fees, training equipment and to cover some of the overhead associated with an organization like this such as insurance. I know that not everyone can make large donations but anyone can give a dollar! 22 veterans a day are taking their own life… help us try to correct this! Thank you for your time and I hope you have a blessed day..
To donate visit our website www.operationfreedomdogs.org or simply click the link below
Our workout today was one called
This is just a Murph with a longer run on each end. It was pretty tough.
Great turnout today and we raised over $1000 for OFD