You don't need to be a fan of the NFL to root for the work this Jets wide receiver and his wife are doing for struggling military veterans. Through creating the Deckers Dogs program, Eric and Jessie Decker have made it their mission to save the lives of not only disabled veterans but also the dogs that the foundation provides to assist them.
Deckers Dogs partners with Freedom Service Dogs of America's Operation Freedom project, which is aimed at pairing service-trained rescue dogs with veterans in need. According to Freedom Service Dogs of America, rescued dogs have the same ability to be trained as dogs bred specifically for service, but their transition from shelter to service can cost around $25,000 per dog.
That's where Eric and Jessie Decker come in. Through their foundation, they provide the resources necessary to train rescue dogs to provide service and needed intervention for veterans struggling to function with post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury or a physical service-related injury.
As of December 2015, Deckers Dogs have funded the training process for four dogs to go through the shelter-to-service transition provided by Operation Freedom. These dogs provide a system of support and a feeling of social connection to veterans who are struggling to make the adjustment to normal everyday life. In turn, wounded warriors are given the opportunity to connect with and care for an animal that previously had no home or family.
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