Category Archives: Marine

Brain Injury Awareness Month – Caring for Military Families: The Elizabeth Dole FoundationCaring for Military Families: The Elizabeth Dole Foundation

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation recognized Brain Injury Awareness Month by calling attention to the unique needs and resources available to those who care for service members and veterans who sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI). More than 320,000 service members have returned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with a TBI, and the Foundation’s …

Source: Brain Injury Awareness Month – Caring for Military Families: The Elizabeth Dole FoundationCaring for Military Families: The Elizabeth Dole Foundation

Capone’s Success Story

The animal rescue world is challenging on the best of days. We see the broken and unwanted of the City of San Antonio on a daily basis. One of the most unforgettable of those days was 5 weeks ago, when Capone walked through our door. He was starving, with patches of hair missing, broken teeth, and his ears jagged and cropped…you won’t believe his transformation…read more at  SAPA – San Antonio Pets Alive | Capone’s Story

Wounded Warrior Derrick and Anni

From our trainer, Candace, in Ft. Worth, who is working with Wounded Warrior, Derrick, and his SDIT, Anni. Derrick suffers from PTSD from his service in the Marine Corps, has difficulty sleeping, nightmares, and anxiety in large crowds. Candace writes:

“Derrick and Anni’s training session was very straight forward and fruitful. We focused a lot of our time on proper heeling for Anni. We also focused on what was acceptable and not acceptable for Derrick’s specific diagnosis and what he felt was comfortable for him. Anni is a bit of a puller, but also a quick learner. We added some directional vocabulary to her list, including “left,” “right,” and “back.” We also talked a lot about Derrick’s anxiety and how Anni has been responding to him. I wanted to get a better idea of how she reacts when his stress level goes up, so I sent Derrick on a mission as homework of increasing his anxiety level in as safe a situation as possible with his family. He was to note Anni’s reaction and what he would like her to do so that we could work on this for next time. We spend the last bit of the session working on Anni staying under picnic tables so Derrick can go out to eat with his family. She did a great job!”

Update from Wounded Warrior Andrew and SD Mozzie

From our dear client, Wounded Warrior Andrew, who adopted and trained with “Mozzie” (formerly “Ozzie”). They passed their Public Access Test a little while ago, and now Andrew is back home in Maine. He wrote this wonderful update!


Thought I’d update you with how Mozzie and I are doing (very well together!).

He’s enjoying the snow like *crazy*, and we leave in two weeks to begin our Appalachian Trail hike for the summer. We’ve been hiking a few days a week in our own, each of us wearing our training weight, and he absolutely *loves it*.

If you’d like to follow us as we hike this summer, I’ll be posting on my website (

I hope you are all doing well!
Andrew & Moz

Assistance in the Rio Grande Valley and more

This is a message from our exceptionally brilliant and compassionate trainer, Jacqueline (Jackie). Her life’s passion is to help Veterans, and she asked us to post this for all Veterans, especially in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV), if they need help.

I have been a graduate psychologist at the VA down here in the RGV. After working in 3 different VA health care systems, I have seen the great need for Veteran care and have seen both good (actually excellent) and bad ways VAs are run and treatment is provided. It is with an EXTREMELY saddened heart that I can no longer allow myself to provide a lower level of care to Veterans than what they deserve, nor be forced into functioning in a treatment setting that is providing unethical care.

I LOVE my work with Veterans and see such a huge need for this to continue, but as I leave, I also see several other amazing psychologists leaving as well due to the same challenges. I continue to see a need for Behavioral Health Care in the Rio Grande Valley, with Veterans and Civilians alike. After 11 years of schooling and 7 years providing Behavioral Health (BH) Services, I was completing my licensure requirements as a psychologist to provide the highest and most comprehensive options out there, however, despite the need for services in the RGV, I ran into several dead ends for finishing this last piece. However, I am willing to put my own final step on hold to help two communities (Veterans and anyone in the RGV) in need of BH services.

I hold a Masters Level License in the State of Texas that allows me to practice independently (but with some restrictions from what I would have had with my psychologist license and obviously at about 1/3-1/4 of the pay). I am hoping to make some things come together over the next month or two (and will probably be open to picking up random general labor work as my student loans have gone into effect and I incurred debt moving from Idaho to here), but am hoping to offer TeleHealth (similar to Skyping but in a much more secure system) and/or in home therapy/animal assisted-therapy services here in the RGV at hopefully a fraction of the cost of some other places (most likely on an income based sliding scale fee basis) since I will not be accepting insurance and I am wanting to reach a larger population of those in need.

That being said, minus the in-home piece, I am able to offer this TeleHealth service within the scope of my practice anywhere in the state of Texas. I am most wanting to reach Veterans as I know for many, wait times between treatment sessions is 2-3 months in several facilities throughout the state. However, I am also really wanting to service Civilians in the RGV and throughout Texas. I am NOT bilingual unfortunately, but have a considerable amount of understanding of the RGV culture, the Hispanic Culture, and the Texas Hispanic Culture.

For those of you who may know of people who may be able to benefit from this, please feel free to contact me. I will gladly share my extensive training and treatment experience with anyone who requests this, and am hoping to start this as an option for the community within the next two months.

Please contact me at: Jacqueline Kappelman

Makes your heart swell with pride and joy

You know when you have one of those clients and their SD that when you see pictures of them together, it just makes your heart swell with pride and joy? Well, it’s that way with the most compassionate Wounded Warrior, Marine Andrew, who is finishing up his separation from the Marines due to PTSD and TBI, and his BFF, the adorable “Mozzie”. Working diligently beyond belief with the amazing Unleashed Dog Training in North Carolina, near Camp LeJeune, these two have consistently impressed me with their bond and their dedication. Talking to Andrew on the phone often to maintain that bond between he and I while he is undergoing training in NC has been an absolute privilege. He is going through some difficult times right now – we are trying our hardest to get his Chain of Command to allow Mozzie into the barracks for the short time Andrew will be there for out processing – please wish us luck. They NEED each other!


Don and Herman

Our trainer, Andrew, had a wonderful session with Don, a Wounded Warrior with PTSD and social anxiety who writes that he would like his Service Dog, Herman, “To be present with me in 90% of my activities. I wish to do car trips with him. He gives purpose to the things I do, including volunteer work at the hospital, church, or Police Department”. What a beautiful sentiment!

Andrew writes: “During this session, we went over the basics; “sit”, “down”, “wait”, “heel (loose)”, “don’t pull”, and some classical conditioning. This process is very effective, as Herman is already very well under control! The bond that he has with Don is joyful and happy. Herman is very attentive and very well-behaved. They are already well-practiced at walking to the coffee shop off leash!”

Congratulations to Elizabeth and SD Beatrice


From Laurie:  They passed the Public Access Test at the mall despite all the crowds! I am so proud of Elizabeth! She is WAY too humble to take credit for all the work she did training Beatrice in between sessions, but she did an amazing job and Beatrice is the PERFECT Service Dog. Most importantly – the way that Elizabeth shares Beatrice with all who ask to pet her – children and adults – is beyond beautiful. Elizabeth realizes how much joy Beatrice brings to everyone she meets – and Elizabeth shares that joy openly. Of course, when it’s time to work, Beatrice works – but the beauty of it is not only that Elizabeth has an amazing Service Dog that does her job – but that she teaches others and shows by example. I must say, the funniest part of it was going through the fancy department stores with their Gucci and Armani and perfectly coiffed sales people with a small horse and surprising them at every turn! I think Beatrice preferred the new perfume by Estee Lauder the best. TEE HEE. My husband, Joey, even tried to taunt Beatrice with a French Fry at the food court, but Beatrice showed him!

I am going to miss my dear, dear friend Elizabeth and beautiful, drooling Beatrice when they move!! Elizabeth’s new job will entail her continuing to help our Wounded Warriors – but now that she has Beatrice by her side, I think just seeing that humungous, loveable Service Dog will heal others better than any drug!!