KEMP (CBSDFW.COM) – Jason Allen doesn’t go far without Sarge. In fact, he doesn’t do much of anything without his Boston Terrier.
When the 33-year-old from Kemp is hurting he turns to his faithful buddy. When he’s emotionally drained Sarge is the one helping him cope.
“I don’t really like to think where I would be if it weren’t for Sarge,” said Allen. “He is really motivating. When I don’t feel like getting out and I need to he’ll go and grab his leash and ‘hey we need to walk.’”
Sarge may be helping him, but it’s what Allen has done for the country that’s left him with severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He’s a Marine and the says the battle for him didn’t end when he came home from war.
When Allen returned home he hit rock bottom.
He says he tried finding comfort in family, friends and even the church, but nothing worked until he found therapy in his new companion.
“I had died for four-and-a-half minutes at Buford Memorial Medical Center,” Allen remembered.
He was in Afghanistan and had an infection, which led to lingering back pain and that made him angry and depressed.
“I didn’t care anymore I really didn’t just didn’t care,” said Allen. “I realized after I put a hole in a wall and two out of shear anger that I really really have to take this serious.”
Jason had heard about a program called Pets2Vets, a non-profit organization based out of Arlington Virginia.
The organization matches veterans with shelter dogs and cats and it provides training and even pays for the pets health insurance.
Allen said in just a few short months he’s noticed a difference, “My parents have noticed… my wife has noticed. I don’t get as angry as quick when he’s around I know that when I get angry he’s going to put his head right next to me and if I get angry that will scare him and I don’t want to do that.”
Sarge got his name after one of Allen’s mentors.
He’s a year and a few months old and has already given Allen a reason to help continue his fight against PTSD.
“It gives me another purpose they say that every Marine needs a purpose and a Marine without purpose is a lost soul,” said Allen. “That dog definitely saved my life he has in ways I couldn’t really describe to anyone it’s just the feeling he gives.”
Allen is the first North Texan to be matched through Pets2Vets.