Service Dog Helping Injured Iraq Veteran Through Daily Life
INDIANAPOLIS, IN- Sgt. Nick Bennett is a Hoosier hero who was injured in Iraq.
He says this father's day will be the best he's had in years, all thanks to his new four-legged friend.
After 26 surgeries, daily routines were still a challenge for Staff Sgt. Nick Bennett, who earned a Purple Heart after surviving a rocket blast in Iraq 10 years ago.
"It's only been within the last 5 years I've started dealing with the mental part of it, cause the first 5 years was the physical, walking again, figuring out how to get dressed," explained Bennett.
But now he's got some help, from a four legged friend named Festus.
"With him I can brace. I can do whatever I need."
Little things like going out to get the mail, or reading with his kids, are easier now with the help of Festus.
"Without Festus, I'd kind of be stuck right here," Bennett says from the floor, "he knows that's where I need him, and I can use his entire body to get off the floor now," Bennett says as he gets up with the help of Festus.
"Sometimes you take for granted the little things the dogs give back to a guy like Nick," said Project2Heal Founder Charlie Petrizzo.
Petrizzo founded the group called Project2Heal, which helped Nick get set up his new best friend.
"I got to meet Nick, he was in his dress blues so I was kind of emotional Nick was the first soldier that got one of our dogs. He was thanking me profusely and I'm standing there saying I should be thanking you," recalled Petrizzo.
"Festus has saved my life. This last year has been such a blessing with my family and is such an awesome Father's Day because of everybody that's been involved," said Bennett.