Dog Tag Buddies 
Veteran PTSD

​https://dogtagbuddies.org/

 Our mission is dedicated to providing veterans, with hidden injuries, opportunities to lead more fulfilling lives. We provide NO cost services in the adoption and training of rescued dogs to become emotional support animals or service dogs depending on the needs of the individual veteran.

  We are a 501(C)3 nonprofit organization, based in Billings, MT. Our motto is “Helping veterans, one rescue at a time” and here is our story:

  I am the proud wife of a veteran. He served in Operation Iraqi Freedom as an E7 Scout Platoon Sgt in the Montana National Guard for a year. He came home a changed man. His story is not unique. His Humvee suffered an IED explosion in February 2005. He went on to suffer numerous secondary blast incidents. He tells me constantly how he would like to thank those people who built that up-armored Humvee because it saved his life and his men’s.

  They all walked away. But he didn’t walk away unhurt. After his return, he was diagnosed with hidden injuries: PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). There are days he’s not allowed to drive. There are days he battles anxiety and anger. There are days he doesn’t resemble the man I fell in love with.

  As I watched him on these rough days, I noticed something that would soon change both of our paths. I watched him lay on the floor with his dogs. I watched his demeanor change almost instantly. He calmed down. His anger dissipated. He became a bit more of the man I knew. And, of course, the dogs loved every moment of his attention.

My husband is not unique.
  Montana is ranked 3rd in the nation for veterans, per capita. The number of young veterans suffering with hidden injuries has continued to increase post-9/11. The impact of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan is being felt by a new generation of soldiers and their families. Sadly, Montana also ranks #1 in the nation for suicides, per capita. Distance to services and the extreme ruralness of our beautiful state contributes to the issues our veterans face.

  A couple of years after my husband came home, he started to share how important his dogs had been in his day-to-day dealings with PTSD, TBIs and the challenges of these hidden injuries. That conversation led us to where we are now. Understanding the relief the dogs brought him, we had an idea: wouldn’t it be great to find an organization that could help place adoptable shelter dogs with veterans and provide training to them as a team? Wouldn’t it be great to give both dog and veteran a second chance to lead a fulfilling life? Dog Tag Buddies became a reality in 2015. We hit the ground running in 2016. We have rescued 36 dogs and worked with 45 veterans.

  We work locally with the shelters and rescue groups to help veterans find the perfect companion or service dog. We then work one-on-one and in small groups composed exclusively of veterans to help them train and bond with their dogs.

  These services are not covered by the Veterans Administration and are funded 100% through donations and grants.

  We are currently expanding our service area to include Bozeman, Helena and Great Falls. For more information, to apply for the program, or to make a tax deductible donation, please check out our website at dogtagbuddies.org and follow us on Facebook