Category Archives: Military

Wounded Warrior and Service Dog – Harassed, Humiliated, Degraded

A Wounded Warrior tried to enter the CSL Plasma Donation Center on Marbach with his Service Dog. I have spoken to the manager at this Center before, and it was decided that due to contamination issues, Service Dogs are allowed in the front, but not in the back where the actual plasma is being donated. I received a message from this client yesterday, explaining that he tried to enter, and although he understood that the dog could not go to the back, he was with his girlfriend who would hold the Service Dog up front. He was treated with extreme disrespect, yelled at and humiliated in front of other clients, and despite holding his calm demeanor and presenting his ADA SD rights card, was treated so badly that he went back to his car and broke down. I emailed and called the donation center today, and they apologized profusely for the behavior of their worker, and will be sure to contact our client asap to apologize.

“I am a Service Dog trainer in San Antonio, TX. One of your regular donors, Mr. XXX, a Wounded Warrior who fought in Afghanistan, tried to enter his local CSL Plasma center on 8725 Marbach Rd #275, San Antonio, TX 78227 with his Service Dog. While I understand that Service Dogs may be denied entrance to plasma donation center back rooms due to contamination issues, the way my client was treated was extremely harassing, humiliating, degrading, and ultimately against the law. My client was too upset to call the police, but had he done so, the woman who harassed him would have opened your establishment subject to a lawsuit. Harassment of a Service Dog is a misdemeanor, as is harassment of a Service Dog owner. This occurred at 4:45 on June 15th. My client would like an apology from not only the manager but directly from the woman who harassed him. I have put a call into the location and expect to hear back immediately. Again, I understand the contamination issues, but the humiliation my client received was completely uncalled for.”

Let’s hope they apologize. I applaud this Wounded Warrior for maintaining his calm demeanor while explaining his rights.

Meet new client, Wounded Warrior Bradley

Service Dog Express - Bradley, Heather and SD GingerMeet new client, Wounded Warrior Bradley, who is dealing with PTSD, his beautiful wife Heather, and their SDIT, Ginger! Bradley and his family moved here from Ft. Hood three months ago to be near family, but it was a difficult transition for them leaving behind the military family and friends they had bonded with. It’s been a difficult time for all of them – married for three years, dealing with PTSD (it took a long time for Bradley to acknowledge he had it, understandably), but Heather could see it and now, here, they have a good doctor who is working with them to start the healing process. I also put them in contact with some other military families and the Wounded Warrior Project to help them get assimilated and let them know that they are certainly not alone!!

Ginger is as cute as a button! She is a boxer mix, but on the smaller side. Bradley and Heather have already done so much work training her on their own – she knows all basic commands and heels perfectly. The first session, we just talked at their home about all they had gone through and how Bradley and Heather would like Ginger to help, and we went through “sit”, “down”, “stay”, “leave it”, etc. The next outing, we went to Petsmart, and Ginger was just wonderful. She heels with no problems, responds to “leave it” with distractions, gets along with all the dogs she meets – big or small (we did some training with Wounded Warrior Anthony and his SD Tucker and his wife Rowena and her SDIT Blessed), and they all just got along like peas in a pod! Of course, we will do more training in public, but the main thing Bradley needs help with is what many of us with “invisible disabilities” need to deal with – what to say when someone comes up (kindly), asks to pet your Service Dog (to which Bradley usually says yes), and the inevitable question, “What does your Service Dog do for you?” It only happened a few times, but I explained to Bradley that the answer is ALWAYS his choice. He doesn’t have to answer, he can say “She helps me with my daily functioning”, “She is my medical alert dog” (remember – PTSD and all psychiatric disabilities are medical conditions), or he can talk about being a Wounded Warrior with PTSD. I reminded him that he will face this question often, and his response may differ given the situation he is in, but ultimately it is up to him. Yes, revealing how a Service Dog can help Wounded Warriors with PTSD can be educating and helpful for people who don’t know, but ultimately, it is Bradley’s business. So, they as a family will be figuring this out and I know Ginger will be a wonderful help for Bradley and Heather!!!