Taps. How One Dog Brought Back the Music
The haunting sound of Taps escorts a fallen soldier to his final rest, and Russell Smith had to play it too many times. Hear his story in our latest video.
Click here for the audio description for the visually impaired: https://youtu.be/cPSzBq1m1kY
Russell Smith and Service Dog Mustang
Army veteran Russell Smith served for eight years and two deployments to Iraq, working in food service and selected for his trumpet-playing talents to play Taps for all-too-frequent memorials. The ongoing sound of IEDs and mortar attacks exploding nearby were constant reminders that not everyone who fought outside the gates of the base returned.
After the Army, an injury and the lingering effects of post-traumatic stress kept Russell isolated and hyper-alert. “I knew there was something missing in my life,” he says. “My anxiety attacks were getting more frequent and severe.” Now he’s found relief through the unconditional love of his service dog, Mustang.
Double Your Donations to Help Veterans Like Russell
Right now, you can help veterans like Russell receive the gift of a service dog—and you can double your impact through our Heroes Challenge.
Your gift can go twice as far, because a caring group of people have come together to create our Heroes Challenge. Our Heroes Council will match your gift—up to a total of $250,000—with all proceeds supporting our programs for veterans.
There’s never been a better time to give, and we can’t do it without you! All designated donations made before June 30, 2019 will qualify for matching funds.
Our veterans need you. Give your most meaningful gift today.