Fundraiser to support group that pairs veterans with dogs
A fundraiser will be held next month to benefit an organization that pairs veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder with service dogs.
K9s for Warriors is a nonprofit organization. Veteran James Brereton met his service dog Bernie through the group.
“Did [Bernie] save my life? Absolutely,” Brereton says. “Simply put, he took the gun out of my mouth.”
Brereton served in the U.S. Army and the Marines and was deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and Bosnia. He survived an attack involving an improvised explosive device in 2013.
“[Bernie] knows before I do if I’m starting to get keyed up. If you can hear him now, he’s whimpering because dad is talking about things that [are traumatic,]” Brereton says.
The fundraiser to benefit the organization will be held at the Algonquin Theater in Manasquan, not far from where Brereton and Bernie live. It will be a comedy show.
Comedian Jeff Norris will be performing at the fundraiser. He says that he has known Brereton for years.
“Anything I can do to help a situation through laughter, I have a strong belief in that,” he says.
Norris and Brereton says that they hope that the fundraiser helps bring attention to the issue of veterans suffering from PTSD.
“We’re all pretty much aware of the national statistic of 22 veterans committing suicide on average every day,” Brereton says. “So who’s that 23rd person? I am.”
K9s for Warriors has matched about 300 dogs with veterans. Most of the K9s are rescued from shelters.