Colorado veterans get by with a little help from (furry) friends

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Adjusting to civilian life can be hard for veterans, but one local organization is helping to make the transition easier with the help of four-legged friends.

John Pappi is not only a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, he's also former law enforcement.  He knows what the aftermath of war brings, and that's why the Victory Service Dogs program means so much to him.

It paired him up with Kilo.

"I ended up losing my leg due to several complications with the VA. I'm an above-the-knee amputee. If I fall, he can help me get back up. He can actually help me if I'm falling. And if I go down, he's going to be right there to help me get back up," he said.

Despite the circumstances, Pappi still has a sense of humor. 

But not everyone can say the same, that's why Victory Service Dogs' purpose is to help veterans find their match.

"There is a great need to pair a disabled veteran with a service dog," said Ken Morrow.

Ken Morrow was paired up with Tobias and has already had seen a change in himself.

"I used to be at a point where if someone really upset me, I wanted to retaliate," Morrow said.

Luckily for him, Tobias is trained to pick up on anxiety, anger, and even Morrow's rare brain

"I have really bad vertigo because of a brain injury. There is no cure, so this dog has been taught how to alert. If he feels anxiety, he will start to bump me with his nose or slap at me with his paw, like [saying,] 'Knock it off,'" Morrow said.

Morrow says you have to work hard at building the trust, but once it's there, the animals can help you get through life a little easier.

Victory Service Dogs is open to all veterans. They will be hosting an open house at 2 p.m Saturday to further discuss how the animals can help you live a better life.

For more information on the event, visit here. To go to their website, click here.

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