NORFOLK, Va. - Man's best friend is helping veterans and wounded warriors regain their independence.
The Sheraton Norfolk Waterside hotel hosted a service dog graduation in partnership with Mutts With a Mission Saturday.
The nonprofit organization aims to partner specially-trained service dogs with veterans and wounded warriors who served on active duty and have a service-connected disability.
The graduation ceremony featured dogs who were trained for a minimum of six months, up to two years' worth of training. The dogs are trained to, among other things, remind people to take their medicine and retrieve it for them, bring the phone in an emergency, wake people up during night terrors and steady a person.
"Each properly trained service dogs means one more veteran that we've helped to become more independent in their daily life," said Brooke Corson, Executive Director of Mutts with a Mission. "Our puppy raisers are key because for a year and a half, 18 to 20 months, they open their hearts and their homes, and they go out and help prepare service dogs to go out and become solid service dogs for these wounded warriors and veterans."
Saturday's event also included a recognition of volunteers, as well as a parade of puppies and dogs in training.