Dog helps wounded Illinois soldier cope with PTSD

Dog helps wounded Illinois soldier cope with PTSD

Credit: Getty Images

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 03: Army veteran Brad Schwarz (L) disciplines his service dog Panzer after he growled at veterinary assistant Guy Marzano during a check up at Southwest Animal Care Center May 3, 2012 in Palos Hills, Illinois. Schwarz uses Panzer to help him cope with issues related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) he has experienced since returning from a 2008 tour in Iraq. In addition to suffering from PTSD Schwarz has memory loss related to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and he must walk with a cane because of vertebrae and nerve damage in his back and legs. Ten days before he was scheduled to rotate home from a 15-month deployment in Iraq, his second, the Humvee in which he was riding was struck by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). Of the 5 soldiers riding in the vehicle, which caught fire after the explosion, Schwarz was the only one to survive. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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by KMOV.com staff

Scott Olson / Getty Images

Posted on June 26, 2012 at 6:25 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 5:35 PM

(KMOV.com) – An Illinois soldier who was wounded during his 2008 tour in Iraq has found a new friend in his dog, Panzer.

Brad Schwarz was ten days away from his scheduled rotation home from a 15-month deployment when the Humvee he was riding in was struck by and improvised explosive device.  Of the five soldiers riding in the vehicle, Schwarz was the only one to survive.

Schwarz now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.  In addition to suffering from PTSD, he has memory loss related to traumatic brain injury.  He is also forced to walk with a cane due to vertebrae and nerve damage in his back and legs.

Panzer, his service dog, helps him cope with his disabilities.  Panzer was trained at the Pack Leader Academy in Palos Hills, Illinois through the Paws Assisting Wounded Warriors program.  So, wherever Brad goes, Panzer goes; even to Cubs games.

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