Puppy power helps Utah vets battle PTSD

May 3, 2022, 2:39 PM | Updated: May 4, 2022, 11:33 am

ROY, Utah — Our military service members put their lives on the line for us, pushing themselves physically, mentally and emotionally to protect our freedoms.

It’s not uncommon for vets returning to civilian life sometimes face other challenges.

A Roy family with a military and first responder background had a litter of lab puppies and wanted to donate one to a local veteran.

It became so much bigger.

Jarvie Curtis just met one of the puppies, Lima. Curtis is a Marine veteran who served four years of active duty, including three tours in Iraq.

“We’re going to have some fun, huh?” he said to Lima.

She is the newest and furriest addition to the family.

“There’s been this vacancy. I’ve tried to fill that void with other ventures, other animals, things like that,” Curtis said. “She’ll probably give me a run for my money but I’m never one to back down from a challenge.”

Lima will also be a service dog for Curtis.

“I’ve been battling with PTSD since my separation from the military, different coping mechanisms. I’ve gone through the whole array most veterans do from self-medicating to traditional medical help,” he said. “It’s just somebody there to let me know things are okay when I don’t feel like things are okay.”

Lima and her brother Tango make pups 15 and 16 placed with veterans or first responders through IGY 622, a Hooper-based veteran nonprofit.

The nonprofit’s VA liaison Shane Salmon has a puppy himself. He said these animals will help vets get back a part of their life.

“It’s been life-changing being able to go out in public again,” Salmon said.

Brian Helback is president of IGY622. He also has one of the dogs.

“Why did I come home and others didn’t?” he said a lot of vets ask themselves. “And I firmly believe after doing all this, this is the reason I came home. To help my brothers and sisters in arms and let them know they’re not alone.”

For Curtis, that vacancy he was talking about is now filled.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Healthy Mind Matters

Karah Brackin

Students across Utah come together to learn the importance of mental health care

Mental health, wellness and suicide prevention — they're all big topics of conversation, and more and more, those conversations include our kids. That's where Hope Squad is coming in to help.
6 days ago
Ayanna Likens

Tips to set realistic mental health goals

If you are planning on setting a goal to prioritize your mental health this year, Dr. Kristin Francis at Huntsman Mental Health Institute recommends starting with small goals.
12 days ago
CJ and his mother
(Courtesy: Smuin Family)...
Alex Cabrero

Tragedy to triumph: how a Utah family is honoring their son

The heartwarming way a Utah family is honoring the life of their son while helping others.
13 days ago
Jeff Dewsnup was known nationwide for his goalkeeping skills. (KSL TV)...
Ayanna Likens

Utah professional soccer player steps away from sport prioritizing mental heath

Jeff Dewsnup was known as the best goalkeeper in the state and even the country, signed to play professional soccer at just 16. But, the pressure of playing a high-level sport like that at such a young age took a toll on his mental health.
18 days ago
Since the summer launch of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, the new three-digit number has seen...
Jacqueline Howard

New 988 mental health crisis line sees ‘eye-opening’ rise in calls, texts, chats in first 6 months, data shows

Since the summer launch of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, the new three-digit number has seen a significant rise in call volume
20 days ago
Karah Brackin

Hope Squad works to provide mental health advocacy, suicide prevention in Utah schools

Thanks to Hope Squad, a Utah-based program, students in elementary through high school are developing tools needed to care for themselves mentally and share that hope with others.
21 days ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Puppy power helps Utah vets battle PTSD