The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9488 is going to the dogs – but in this case, that’s a good thing. Patch, a chocolate Lab service dog, was awarded lifetime membership to the VFW Auxiliary during a ceremony Sunday. Patch will become the first canine auxiliary member of Post 9488 and will be known henceforth as “K-9-1.”
Patch is the constant companion of Sgt. Cory Collins of Concord, who served in the U.S. Army from 1997 to 2007, completing tours of duty in Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq. Collins lost a leg to an injury suffered in Iraq and relies constantly on Patch for assistance.
Despite his disability, and with the help of Patch, Collins gives back to other disabled veterans through his work with Purple Heart Homes, a nonprofit that builds and repairs homes for wounded and disabled U.S. military veterans.
Post 9488’s goal in presenting the lifetime membership to Patch is to continue to support wounded veterans and to increase awareness of the needs of those who have sacrificed to preserve our freedoms. Service dogs assist wounded veterans in coping with everyday physical disabilities as well as emotional afflictions including post-traumatic stress disorder.