The following is a release from Lora Strum, Army News Service:
Up at 5 a.m., retired Staff Sgt. Matthew Bessler often speaks his first words of the day to his dog, Mike, who lives with him now in Powell, Wyoming, and who has deployed with him twice to Iraq.
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Bessler served as an Army Ranger and former Special Forces Engineer with the canine tactical team from 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) out of Fort Carson, Colorado. Mike, a Belgian Malinois, served as a former Special Operations Forces, or SOF, multipurpose canine.
During two of Bessler’s six tours in Iraq, Mike stood daily by his side. They served about 16 months together overall. Their work earned the duo two Bronze Stars – one of the military’s highest accolades.
When they returned to Colorado, Bessler said he didn’t yet recognize the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, on either himself or his four-legged partner. He didn’t recognize the effects of PTSD on their performance.
“I thought I was normal. I thought Mike was normal,” Bessler said over the phone, with Mike’s head at his feet. “I needed to recognize [we weren’t], but I never …read more
Source:: Tactical Life