Wounded Oklahoma Veteran Receives Puppy
OKLAHOMA CITY - A puppy is going to be a companion for one of Oklahoma’s finest.
Andrew Smith was injured in Iraq in 2003 and is just now getting his life back on track, and the dog is a huge piece of that puzzle.
“When I left the military I left my team, and it scared me a lot,” said Smith.
Andrew Smith was an engineer with the marines. His team was part of the original push into Iraq. He has a traumatic brain injury and suffers from PTSD.
For the first six years when he got home to Western Oklahoma, he wouldn't leave the house. Until, he discovered his talent at training dogs.
“It was the one thing I had to get better at in my life that I could focus on, that didn’t hurt really bad,” said Smith.
But there was one problem.
“I’m a dog trainer and I don’t have a dog,” said Smith.
So, one of Andrew's friends called Honoring America's Warriors and received good news three weeks later.
“We really appreciate what you’ve done. And we’d like to present you this token of our appreciation and this companion that’s going to bring you happiness and joy we hope for long days and long nights. We want to present him to you.”
A home-builder in the metro heard about Andrew, and Thursday they gave him a German Short-hair puppy.
“I’ve been excited for three days straight,” said Smith.
Andrew hadn't felt excitement in a while. Not only the brain injury, but his 8-year-old son has Muscular Dystrophy. And his self-esteem had gotten pretty low before he started training dogs.
“Retired military and I don’t have a job per say. So, pats on the back come from me unless someone from the outside says great job. And with my dogs I can most generally do that,” said Smith.
Now Andrew plans to take his new puppy, he named Roscoe, back to Cherokee to train him to become a hunting dog. He couldn't be happier.
“It shows me that people are behind us and it’s an amazing feeling.”