Whalen’s Heroes donate service dog to deserving veteran!

Changing lives for the better, especially for those of our Veterans and First Responders is why Whalen’s Heroes Inc exists. With the help of multiple sponsors/donors and participants of our fundraisers, we were able to change the lives of two families in April. Once Zeus has completed training, it’ll be time to go home with his person, Ryan.

Meet recipient Ryan Powers, a native of a small rural town just outside the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York, who recounts his upbringing on his grandfather’s expansive dairy farm. Under his grandfather’s guidance, he gained hands-on experience in farm operations, mechanical repairs, livestock care, and gardening. However, as he matured, he found himself influenced by negative influences. Following high school, Ryan seized the opportunity to enlist in the Marine Corps, serving as a radio operator for four years across various international and domestic assignments.

After his military service, Ryan grappled with multiple health issues, including TBIs, herniated discs, PTSD, depression, and tinnitus, leading to his decision not to reenlist. Transitioning to civilian life proved challenging, prompting him to work multiple jobs to stay occupied and support himself. Despite focusing on his mental well-being and avoiding relationships, fate intervened in 2019 when he met his partner, a single mother of two. Embracing fatherhood with little prior experience, Ryan and his partner eventually relocated from Oregon to Indiana in pursuit of a more affordable and fulfilling lifestyle.

Their move, however, was met with a life-altering event on February 10th, 2023, when Ryan became the victim of a road rage shooting. Despite sustaining severe injuries, including the loss of over 50% of his blood volume, Ryan miraculously survived after a lengthy emergency surgery. His recovery was arduous, compounded by the birth of their son just three months after the incident. Five months later, Ryan underwent a second surgery, restarting his recovery journey.

To assist with his ongoing struggles with anxiety and PTSD, particularly in daily tasks like driving and grocery shopping, Ryan seeks the companionship of a service dog. This support would enable him to continue providing for his family while managing his mental health challenges.

If you or someone you know could benefit from a service dog contact us!

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