BeDECKing Service Members with Service Dogs
By Abe Lerner
NY Jets’ Eric Decker Provides Service Dogs for Wounded Military Vets
In the NFL, coming off a football field with an injury is normal. A vet returning home wounded from combat is also normal. In reality though, the life of a wounded vet is anything but normal. Many men and women, who have valiantly served our country, have given the ultimate sacrifice: themselves. Some of our warriors suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Others sustained injuries that have left them in constant pain or with mobility issues. What can be done to enable them to cope?
Eric Decker is aware that injuries occur on the playing field. An NFL wide receiver currently playing for the New York Jets, he has taken his share of vicious hits throughout his career. He’s also aware that helping our injured veterans is paramount. Together with his wife Jessie, a country singer, they have founded Decker’s Dogs. As part of the Eric & Jessie Decker Foundation, their primary goal is to positively impact the lives of USA military service members. Decker’s Dogs has been launched to provide service dogs for veterans with service-connected disabilities. Essentially, servicing those who have served our country admirably.
Service dogs assist our veterans in a number of ways. They provide emotional support and feelings of happiness typically associated with standard pets. This is crucial, as disabled vets have medical conditions that can lead to suicide. Additionally, service dogs are trained specifically to perform tasks that their pet parents can’t carry out because of a disability. Practical examples would be picking things up, serving as a guide to those with impaired vision, and assisting people who fall or lose their balance easily. They can also be trained to move dangerous items out of the way when someone is having a seizure.
Training a service dog though comes with a hefty price tag. Recruited from local shelters, dogs undergoing training can cost upwards of $25,000. That’s where Eric and Jessie come in. To date, Decker’s Dogs has raised funds to pay for the care and custom training of four service dogs. Rommy, Decker, Harmony, and Marbles are all dutifully serving our veterans in need. Two more dogs are currently still in training.
Decker’s Dogs relies on generous donors to help support their cause. On December 7, 2015, Eric and Jessie will host Bowl for Barks at Frames Bowling Lounge in NYC from 8:00-11:00 PM. An evening of fun with the Deckers and friends, proceeds will go towards the funding of additional service dogs for vets.
Although Eric plays football, we can certainly borrow some baseball lingo to describe Eric and Jessie’s dedication to this worthy cause. Clearly, an upper deck job…
Abe Lerner is a member of the pack at NutralifePet, a division of Nutralife Health Products, Inc., which has been selling high quality dietary supplements since 1996. NutralifePet, the manufacturer of Ultra Joint & Liver Support with SAM-e for dogs and cats, caters to the individual needs of each pet. NutralifePet…caring about animals, one pet at a time…