Hero Dogs and Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund announce
arrival of newest service dog candidate
Dog named after Jan C. Scruggs, founder of The Wall
(Brookeville, Maryland) – Hero Dogs and Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) announce the arrival of “Scruggs” - Hero Dogs’ newest service dog candidate. Scruggs is a nine-week-old Labrador retriever named after Jan C. Scruggs, the Vietnam veteran who 35 years ago led the crusade to build the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, commonly known as The Wall, in Washington, DC. Scruggs served in Vietnam in 1969 and 1970 as a 19-year-old infantryman. He was wounded in battle in May 1969.
Scruggs was donated by a local breeder. He joins eighteen other puppies, all named after military heroes or patriotic symbols, in training to become service dogs for military veterans who served honorably in the United States Armed Forces and who are wounded or have a disabling condition.
Hero Dog “Scruggs” will spend the next 16 to 18 months living with a volunteer puppy raiser and learning basic manners and obedience. He will then spend an additional six to eight months in advanced training learning specialized skills with a Hero Dogs trainer before being placed with a carefully screened veteran with a disability. Hero Dogs trains dogs to meet multiple disabilities—mobility, hearing, and/or psychiatric disorders. These dogs can perform tasks such as retrieving objects, opening and closing doors, providing mobility support, or alerting their partner to important sounds.
“It’s a rigorous training process. Not every dog is suited to the demands of being a service dog, but those that graduate from the program can bring life-changing independence to their veteran partners. It’s our way of giving back to our troops,” said Jennifer Lund, founder and executive director of Hero Dogs.
“VVMF is proud to have the latest Hero Dog named after our founder, Jan Scruggs. Jan has dedicated his life to helping veterans and ‘Scruggs’ will do just that once he’s trained and placed with a veteran. ‘Scruggs’ will change a veteran’s life for the better,” said Jim Knotts, CEO and president of VVMF.
Founded in 2009, Hero Dogs is a Maryland 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to raise and train service dogs and place them free of charge with our nation’s veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence. For more information, visit http://www.hero-dogs.org or call 888-570-8653.
# # #
About Hero Dogs
Hero Dogs, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, provides independence and improved quality of life to our nation’s
veterans by raising, training, and placing service dogs (“Hero Dogs”) with veterans who have served honorably in the U.S. Armed Forces, and who have been wounded or have a disabling medical condition. There is no charge to the veteran for the dog or any associated training.
About Our Nation’s Wounded Heroes
There are more than 50,000 warriors who have been physically wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. More than 260,000 warriors from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from traumatic brain injuries (TBI). An estimated 540,000 have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A 2003 re-analysis of Vietnam theatre veterans revealed that four out of five report recent PTSD symptoms when interviewed 20-25 years after the Vietnam War. One veteran commits suicide every 65 minutes, or approximately 8,000 annually. (The RAND Corporation – 02/14/2015)
About VVMF and the Education Center at The Wall
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) is the nonprofit organization that built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall) in Washington, D.C. in 1982. VVMF is dedicated to honoring and preserving the legacy of service and educating all generations about the impact of the Vietnam War.
Three decades later, the mission continues as VVMF raises funds to build the Education Center at The Wall. The Center will be an interactive learning facility on the National Mall where our military heroes' stories and sacrifice will never be forgotten. The Education Center will feature the faces and stories of the more than 58,000 men and women on The Wall and honor America's Legacy of Service, including those serving in our nation's Armed Forces today. The lead gift for the campaign to build the Education Center at The Wall was provided by Time Warner, Inc. To learn more about VVMF and the Education Center at The Wall, visit www.vvmf.org or call 866-990-WALL.