How Service Dogs Help Veterans

Service dogs are an outward indication to others that the person you are talking about struggles with something. You can’t see what it is just by looking at them, but it is an external validation of the struggle happening inside of them.

Listen to the whole episode here.

September 11th was a life-changing day for Danique, she went from a life without purpose to want to be a police officer. Through this decision, she ended up becoming a police officer (Master of Arms) in the Navy. She enlisted into the Navy in 2002 and went to Basic Training followed by her technical school. Her first unit was very toxic. In both leadership and the culture toward women.

Suffering an MST

She suffered an MST and when she went to report it, she was read her rights and asked questions that led her to believe that no help would come from the investigation. The toxic nature continued and eventually, she was reassigned.

Her next assignment was working to become an instructor. She suffered another MST by a member of the Army on the range She reported it again. The Army didn’t do anything and the SeaBee unit she was with did everything they could to try and resolve the case. Unfortunately, it didn’t help the problem to be resolved so she dropped from the course and was reassigned.

Medical issues end her career

Things were going well on the ship she was assigned until there was a medical issue that prevented her from being aboard the ship and she began a med board process. She started working with the security unit and overall, it was a good experience. Then the leadership changed and everything started to fall apart. She was eventually med boarded out of the Navy, but her DD-214 didn’t give her disability status.

She went back to school and applied for benefits through the VA. At school, her PTSD from toxic leadership made her struggle through her academics. Her professors encouraged her to get involved in a community. Although a veteran organization wasn’t where she wanted to go she began attending meetings and found her tribe.

Working with service dogs

She worked for various organizations and then three years ago started a non-profit, Leashes of Valor. The work they are doing to help veterans through service dogs is so important. Not only are they connecting veterans with service dogs, but she also talked about the work they are doing to change policy and the research to help make a change on the insurance side too.

If you want to learn more about Leashes of Valor visit their website: or find them on social media Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.

Connect with Danique:

Mentioned in this episode:

Advocacy with the Military Officer Association – Bonus episode

Ginny MST Coast Guard Survivor – Episode 18

Student Veterans of America







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