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Veteran struggling with PTSD gets service dog surprise

Posted: 10:48 AM, Dec 18, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-19 00:13:16Z

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Some of the best years of Kerry McCrobie’s life were spent serving our country.

“I miss it every day. There’s nothing like it," McCrobie said.

He served in the Army from 1995 to 2005, completing tours in post-9/11 Iraq and Afghanistan. He admits he’s struggled to find his way in the years since returning to civilian life.

“I no longer have a social life. I won’t have any friends that I hold close, for fear of losing them. I’ve gone to treatment. I’m working on it," he said.

His daughter Neila Ward has watched him struggle with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

“You can tell when his anxiety is getting too high. You know, he needs to get away for a minute," she said.

For several years, Ward has wanted to get her dad a service dog -- something she believes will help him cope with day to day life. That’s why she nominated him for our 13 Days and Knights of Giving.

Enter Coco -- a rescue dog trained by RWB Dog TAGS -- a local nonprofit that pairs wounded warriors with trained service dogs.

“The big thing is that they have someone that gives them unconditional love because when you’re going through something and people don’t get it and not having someone get it is a real deal breaker, you know mentally. So you have a dog that’s going to give you unconditional love, doesn’t care what you’re going through and you know that something’s living, waiting for you, expecting you to come home or expecting you to wake up in the morning," said Mila Leonard, the founder of RWB Dog Tags.

For McCrobie and Coco, it’s an instant connection.

“I’m surprised. I’m so gracious. I’m looking forward to seeing how this is going to change my life.”

13 Days and Knights of Giving is sponsored by the Vegas Golden Knights Foundation, Subaru of Las Vegas and America First Credit Union.