Meet J.R. and service dog Flounder
After nearly five years he left the service, but a National Guard recruiter invited him to an elite mountaineering training outfit in Vermont. They trained Special Forces, Seals, and Secret Service, but an aviation training accident changed everything. J.R. lost his peace of mind on that fateful day.
After the Army, J.R. focused on business, investing in Ben and Jerry’s franchises and several delis. But as his post-traumatic stress disorder worsened, he became reclusive. “For eight years, I’ve never been anywhere by myself,” he says, relying on his wife back home in Tuscumbia, Alabama.
Flounder helps him relax. “I don’t look over my shoulder as much,” he says. Flounder’s listening ear is another tool. “You can talk to them; you can cry with them; you still have a friend,” he shares. “You can let your guard down a little bit and let that big boy in there. He’ll help you out.”
“This dog is like a Green Beret. This one has a superhero cape. Given my own OCD and striving for excellence on everything, I read the backstory of Southeastern Guide Dogs, and with my dog, I understand I have a foundation of excellence, starting at conception. I was lucky when I heard about this place.”