I am the proud wife of a veteran.

My husband served in OIF as an E7 Scout Platoon Sgt in the Montana National Guard and came home a changed man. 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 the up-armored Humvee, because it saved his life and his men’s.

They all walked away, but he didn’t walk away unhurt.

On the outside, he looked just fine. After his return, doctors diagnosed him with hidden injuries: PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury).

As I watched him on his rough days, I noticed something that would soon change both of our lives. I watched him lay on the floor with his dogs and 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.

His Story Is Not Unique.

Per capita, Montana ranks 3rd in the nation for veterans. The number of young veterans suffering with hidden injuries continues to increase post-9/11. A new generation of soldiers and their families are feeling the impact of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A couple of years after my husband came home, he started to share how important the 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.

We’ve come a long way since our humble start in 2015. What started as just wanting to help veterans build new bonds and purpose through the training of a pet has transformed into therapeutic program that provides so much more than a service dog. We strive to reduce deaths by suicide, transform the mental health conversation and how we approach it, and most importantly, to help veterans live more fulfilling lives.

I can’t thank everyone enough for the support we’ve had on this journey, and I can’t wait to see where we go.