Service Dogs for Veterans

 

The Hawkins Law Firm is extremely proud to announce our partnership with the Service Dogs for Veterans Organization.  We have seen the dedication of the individuals who run this organization and we are committed to furthering their efforts of providing service dogs to local Veterans who have PTSD.

Bill Brightman, the Veterans Advocate for the program, began working with service dogs and veterans because he realized that there was a need for alternative treatment methods for victims of PTSD.  He, along with Connie Cleveland, the founder of Dog Trainers Workshop, provides skills and training to Veterans and their future service dogs.

With the help of the Dog Trainers Workshop and local animal shelters in Upstate, South Carolina, Bill and Connie have helped many Veterans find healing through the addition of a service dog to their family.

John Hawkins, Founder and Owner of the Hawkins Law Firm and a fellow veteran, recognized the great work Bill and his team were doing in the veteran community. He knew they could help support the Service Dogs for Veterans organization by raising awareness and donations that would make it possible to assist more Veterans in the Upstate with the financial and logistical aspects of training a service dog.

In support of this amazing organization we are hoping to raise over $10,000 to put towards the training of new service dogs for our local Veterans. We have pledged to match the first $5,000 to help achieve this goal. Will you partner with us to reach the goal of $10,000 to give back to the men and women who have dedicated their lives to our country? Donate below and change a life!




 

Tony & Cooper
Tony & Cooper
Tony Swett, a U.S. retired Army infantryman, and his dog Cooper are one of the many success stores to come out of the Service Dogs for Veterans organization.  Swett and Cooper first found each other through Swett’s stepson, Garrett.  At first, Cooper was a nuisance to Swett, eating his socks and destroying everything of Tony’s he could find, but after attending a dog training workshop, Tony realized that Cooper was much more than a dog, he was his most loyal companion.  Tony and Copper enrolled in the Service Dogs for Veterans program and now they both work at Lowe’s Home Improvement store in Spartanburg, SC.  Cooper and Tony are inseparable now and Swett says, “owes his chance at a successful civilian life to Cooper and the people who took a chance on helping him get past his PTSD.”

 


Charity & Haley
Charity is one of the hundreds of veterans who suffer from PTSD.  Safety and security were two attributes that Charity never thought a dog could provide her, much less be able to ease the effects that PTSD had on her daily life.  Charity reached out to Bill Brightman at the Service Dogs for Veterans program and Bill introduced her to Haley.  Skeptical at first, Charity began to work with Haley in various training classes.  Charity quickly came to realize that Haley provided the sense of security that she so desperately needed and she was no longer afraid to go out in large crowds.  Hayley is always there to comfort Charity in high stress situations and has significantly helped to ease the effects that PTSD has on her daily life.  Charity says, “My life is totally different. I never would be able to experience the freedom I now have with Haley by my side. If at the beginning, you would have told me I would feel this different, I would’ve told you ‘No way I could feel this good!’ Now I can go where I want without being afraid! If that isn’t a gift from God, I don’t know what is.”

 

Bill Brightman with SD4V and John Hawkins, Owner and Founder of the Hawkins Law Firm pose with Darla, a service dog in training.

Bill Brightman with SD4V and John Hawkins, Owner and Founder of the Hawkins Law Firm pose with Darla, a service dog in training.