DOG name: RHYS
Team since: 2015

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Zachary Whisenhunt, USMC Veteran

Zachary is an OEF Veteran who served in the USMC. After 2 years in the Corps, Zachary deployed to Afghanistan. Throughout the deployment, he lost so much. He lost his wife to infidelity and he lost Marine brothers to combat. He was hit by an IED and was in direct contact with the enemy for almost 5 out of the 7 months he was there. Eight months after he got home, he deployed again to Afghanistan. This time, he was a squad leader with 12 Marines under his command. He was fortunate to bring all of them back home safely to their families after 7 months. Within a few months of being home after his second tour, his active duty contract ended. Within a month of being out of the military, he began having severe nightmares about Afghanistan. He isolated from society because he was too anxious to step outside without a gun in his hand. Zachary struggles with PTS on a daily basis. He zones out in school, relives his deployments, his abusive childhood, and his terrible relationships. He has trouble with interpersonal relationships with friends and family. He also suffers from anger, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and combat related stress.

RHYS bumped with Zachary in December 2015. RHYS will help Zachary find the peace and happiness he has been seeking as he does not want to feel defeated by PTSD. RHYS will alert to Zachary’s anxiety, interrupt his night terrors and bring him back to reality when he zones out. RHYS will also help decrease Zachary’s stress in public places by watching his back and alerting him when people are walking up behind him. Zachary also hopes that RHYS will help bridge the gaps that he has put between himself and his friends and family.

RHYS is a Tribute Puppy named in memory of Sergeant Rhys W. Klasno, U.S. Army.









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