Shelter to Soldier™ is a 501c3 non-profit organization that rescues shelter dogs and trains them to be psychiatric service companions for wounded combat veterans. It is time to step up, create change and support programs that provide services for our troops at home and those that help save our 4-legged angels with no voice. Buy buying Plato Pet Treats, you are helping to support not only homeless dogs in need of a forever home, but you are supporting your veterans as they come home needing much love and often assistance from a canine companion through organizations like Shelter To Soldier.
- Every 63 minutes, a US Veteran commits suicide
- That is an average of 23 precious lives a day
- Every 11 seconds, an animal is euthanized in our nation
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) In Military Veterans
- Every day, Twenty Three (23) U.S veterans commit suicide. (Department of Veteran Affairs)
- Lifetime occurrence (prevalence) in combat veterans is 20-30%.
- In the past year alone the number of diagnosed cases of PTSD in the military jumped 50%– and that’s just diagnosed cases.
- Studies estimate that 1 in every 5 military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan has PTSD.
- 20 % of the soldiers who have been deployed in the past 6 years have PTSD. That’s over 300,000.
- 17% of combat troops are women; 71% of female military personnel develop PTSD
- The suicide rate among the nation’s active-duty military personnel has spiked this year, eclipsing the number of troops dying in battle and on pace to set a record annual high since the start of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan more than a decade ago
Shelter to Soldier Founder and Head Trainer, Graham Bloem, has had a lifetime passion for helping animals. Graham is a professional dog trainer certified by the Animal Behavior College who has had immense experience in dog training for well over a decade. His experience includes helping dogs with severe behavioral issues, training service dogs and therapy dogs, obedience training of thousands of pet dogs, matching pre-trained family dogs with wonderful families, and rescuing thousands of dogs in the process. However, Graham’s true passion lies in helping dogs help people. Among his ventures in training service dogs for clients with disabilities, Graham has also been actively involved in the efforts of several military servicemen in rescuing dogs from Iraq and training and introducing them into their new homes in the United States. His most notable experiences have been with Major Brian Dennis and Lt. Col. Jay Kopelman. Major Brian Dennis is an F18 pilot of the United States Marine Corps and a New York Times Best Selling Author of Nubs: the True Story of a Mutt, a Marine, and a Miracle, a miraculous story of the loyalty between a soldier and his dog. Lt. Col. Jay Kopelman of the United States Marine Corps is also a New York Times Best Selling Author of From Bagdad with Love and From Bagdad to America, stories of a soldier describing the struggle with PTSD and his journey with his dog Lava after serving tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Graham has had honorable mentions in all of these books for his help in guiding these Iraqi dogs to their new lives in America with their heroic marines. Through his journey over the 14 years in dog training and his incredible opportunities to honor our military men and women through his dog training skills, Graham’s mission to combine his expertise in order to give back to those who serve our country has evolved into Shelter to Soldier™.