WAXHAW, N.C. — A Waxhaw nonprofit is raising money for veterans’ service dogs this month.
group project 2 heels has a goal of raising $30,000 this November to sponsor the service dog training of U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer (CW3) Scott Kearns from Lancaster County, South Carolina.
Almost 10 years ago, CW3 Kearns was flying an Apache helicopter over Mosul, Iraq, when he was struck by enemy explosives, severely damaging the helicopter. Fortunately, Kearns was able to make an emergency landing and land his plane.
This attack did more than just damage the helicopter. The explosion caused permanent damage to his spine.
Today, Kearns relies on his family, especially his wife Linda, to help him get around between a wheelchair, a walker, and a seat. Kearns is usually home with Kearns, but we started considering a service dog to give other members of the family a sense of security.
“If something were to happen, my dog could come get me or pick up my phone if I needed to call,” Linda said. “It’s supposed to be there all the time, but sometimes it’s not. It’s just the little things that we all take for granted.”
Project 2 Heal plans to donate a Labrador retriever to help Kearns. With the help of Love at Lead Dog Training, the dog is willing to help Kearns with whatever happens that day.
Proper Service Training a dog takes 18 to 24 months until it becomes a perfect fit for the person it will assist.
Mr. Kearns’ service dog helps him in the following ways:
• A brace to support Scott when rising from his seat or transferring from his wheelchair.
Return the walker to the seat.
• Retrieve objects from the ground so that Scott does not have to risk injury by picking them up.
• Scott’s limited mobility provides stress relief and companionship through alone time.
For more information about Project 2 Heal or to donate, please visit click here.
(See below: Disabled veteran says Charlotte restaurant didn’t allow service dog inside)