FISHERS — English Labradors Ike and Eeno have new homes and a special new role this holiday season.
The two service dogs were given to Hoosier veterans today at an event in Fishers.
A total of 13 dogs were given away across the country; each dog is meant to represent the 13 service members who lost their lives in the withdrawl from Afghanistan, including Cpl. Humberto Sanchez of Logansport.
"There is so many more that come back from deployment, they finish their term in the military, and they have so much struggles with PTSD, they are not over the five-year deployment, the five year contract. This is going over and over in their minds and in their lives," Coral Briseno, Sanchez's mom, said. "So having a service dog, it's something special for them."
The two still need to undergo a few months of training.
"These dogs absorb the anxiety. They're going to be specially trained to not only shield the veterans from the public, from crowds, from any kind of exposure to stress, but they also will immediately calm the person down as soon as they sense there's an anxiety rolling in or any kind of feeling of distress," Julie Case with Ultimate Canine LLC said.
The American Warrior Initiative, founded by Fairway Mortgage, was behind the event. AWI has a mission to donate 100 service dogs over the course of a year.