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Open Conversation: Veteran says his PTSD service dog saved his life

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Posted at 11:56 AM, Jun 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-14 20:03:48-04

WACO, Texas — Houston resident Jodie Revils is an Army veteran.

He started feeling symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder shortly after returning from deployment in Iraq.

"I was constantly reliving combat events, avoiding places and things that reminded me of places," he said.

"I was always on edge, had a lot of hyper-vigilance, nightmares, lack of sleep, depression."

He was experiencing many symptoms of PTSD but didn't realize that's what it was.

"I had such a severe case that I didn't believe it was curable, I thought it was something else," Revils said.

"At that time, I decided that I was going to commit suicide, I couldn't go on living the way I was."

Revils told himself he would try every option before taking his life. That's when he found K9s For Warriors, but he was skeptical.

"She kind of looked at me and I kind of looked at her like I don't know about this and she kind of had the same reaction at first," he said.

"Then she put her paw up on my leg and I thought okay maybe this is something I can work through."

The two spent three weeks of training where they learned how to live side by side. It wasn't long before she was able to alert him to an oncoming episode.

"She can tell before I have symptoms and she'll come up to me and paw at the side of my leg and she'll let me know hey something is happening," Revils said

"If I listen, I can break concentration and we go do something else. That shift in my mind in the moment a lot of times is enough to stop it from happening."

Revils is now a service dog advocate, encouraging other veterans to consider that option.

He had to travel to Florida for Donna, but K9 for Warriors is expanding. They recently opened a training area in San Antonio.

Revils credits the organization for him being alive today and said anyone struggling should not be afraid to reach out for help.