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The Veteran Project

Serving Veterans, Rescuing Dogs
McConnell Air Force Base, KS, United Sta

The Veteran Project (TVP) helps veterans suffering from the effects of military combat, with conditions such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, TBI, etc. It brings the veteran together with a loving dog from a local shelter. At the shelter these dogs have little or no chance of a promising future. With guidance from a professional dog trainer, TVP can help the veteran locate, screen, train and adopt a dog to best meet the veteran’s needs and lifestyle. The dog becomes a loving companion or emotional support animal. It’s a win/win for both the veteran AND dog!

For more information, please contact:  
Jenny East Cole

Photo by Airman 1st Class Erin McClellan McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, US

How Does a Dog Help a Veteran?
  • The dog offers companionship, affection and unconditional love, which boosts a veteran’s confidence and self-esteem.

  • It is medically proven that simply petting a dog can have a calming influence – regulating breathing and lowering blood pressure, pulse and stress levels. Petting is equally beneficial for the dog too!

  • 24/7 partnership with a dog can reduce a veteran’s sense of isolation, depression and anxiety, while improving emotional and mental well-being.

  • Caring for a dog creates a settled routine with ongoing responsibilities and a sense of fulfillment. Also it not “all about me.”

  • Regular, daily exercise with a dog, such as taking walks or playing games, can promote health and physical well-being.

  • Opening their heart to a loving dog can, in turn, encourage growth in a veteran’s relationships with others, including family members.

  • Social interactions can be easier with a dog around. Acting as a bridge, the dog is a natural conversation-starter, allowing positive dialogue and interaction.

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Buddy is the most trusted friend I have.




- Richard Patterson,

Vietnam veteran, Chatham, Va.



Veteran Project Dog, Rosa

Rosa, 5-year Lab, Pittsylvania Pet Center, Chatham, VA. Pulled from the shelter November 30, 2018; Matched with Vietnam vet Stan Goldsmith, Army Corps of Engineers

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After Rescue

The Veteran Project is part of the Lynchburg Area Veterans Council,

a non-profit organization whose mission in part is to promote the welfare of veterans and their families.

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  • Stan is a Vietnam veteran, who served with the Army Corps of Engineers

  • Rosa was a stray. TVP pulled Rosa from the Pittsylvania Pet Center on 11-17-2018.

  • Rosa was fostered by TVP for three months, then adopted by Stan on 3-8-2019​

Stan Goldsmith and Rosa

Photo by Laura Mae Photography.

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  • John Hairston is a Gulf War veteran, he served with the Army from 1983-1991, and with the National Guard in Iraq from 2000-2002.

  • Merle was a stray. TVP pulled Merle from Halifax Dog Squad Rescue on 3-19-2019.

  • Merle was fostered and trained by TVP for two months, then adopted by John on 5-16-2019.

  • John and Merle in the News

Photo by Laura Mae Photography.

John Hairston and Merle

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