TC338 – K9s for Warriors – Interview with Randy Dexter and Captain
This week we have a very special guest on our program. Randy Dexter served in the US Army as a combat medic. He deployed to Iraq twice. As a result of the trauma that he dealt with there, he developed severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), major depressive disorder, traumatic brain injury, migraines, and other issues. He spent over a year in the Naval Hospital as a result of his injuries.
He was on the brink of suicide.
Randy told his doctor at the Naval Hospital about his suicidal thoughts. His doctor suggested he enroll in a program called “K9 Inspired Community Reintegration”. It is partnered with a non-profit organization in San Diego called “Paws’itive Teams“. The organization shows veterans what it would be like to have their own service dog to see if they could benefit.
Randy meets Ricochet
As a result of the six-week program and his interaction with a golden retriever named “Ricochet”, Randy was finally able to start talking about his experiences and what he was dealing with to his wife, and to others outside the hospital setting. He realized that this could benefit others in his situation, so Randy and Judy Fridono, Ricochet’s handler, started the “PTSD Battle Buddies Initiative”.
Randy and Ricochet
Ricochet and the organization do a lot of fund raising, and as a result, were able to raise $10,000 for Randy to get his own service dog.
Randy flew to Florida to visit K9’s for Warriors and met Captain for the first time.
The video below gives you some idea of the deep bond that Randy and Captain developed.
Military Veteran and K9s For Warriors graduate, Randy writes a letter to his service dog Captain. As of today this video has been seen nearly 250,000 times.
Randy is going into his senior year as a Communications Studies major at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, carrying a 3.7 GPA. He is President of the “Rebel Vets” Student Veteran’s Organization. He continues to share his story in an effort to help others learn about the benefit of service dogs, and hopefully save lives.
Randy’s story appeared in Barkpost in an article titled “When a Veteran Needed Redemption, He Turned to This Incredible Dog“.
Service Dog Resources
Assistance Dogs International – Assistance Dogs International (ADI) is a coalition of not for profit assistance dog organizations. ADI has regional chapters in Europe, North America, and Australia/New Zealand.
K9s for Warriors – K9s For Warriors is dedicated to providing service canines to our Warriors suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disability, traumatic brain injury and/or military sexual trauma as a result of military service post-9/11.
Freedom Service Dogs of America – Freedom Service Dogs enhances the lives of people with disabilities by rescuing dogs and custom training them for individual needs. They are an accredited member of ADI.
Canine Companions for Independence – For over 40 years, Canine Companions for Independence has been enhancing the lives of people with disabilities by training and placing more than 5,000 assistance dogs with program graduates, including over 140 dogs with wounded military veterans and more than 1,500 dogs with children, entirely free of charge. All Canine Companions dogs and services are provided free of charge. Canine Companions for Independence is funded by private contributions.