DynCorp International sponsors Veterans Moving Forward (VMF), a non-profit foundation providing trained service dogs to veterans with physical and mental health challenges. VFW trains comfort, therapy or assistance dogs to meet veterans’ needs, and DI is proud to sponsor “Josh,” the foundation’s first assistance dog in training.
Josh, Assistance Dog in Training
Josh, now just over one year old, is named after Lance Corporal Joshua Michael Davis, U.S. Marine Corps, who was killed in Afghanistan in May of 2010. VMF names all of its assistance dogs in training (ADITs) after a fallen sailor, soldier, airmen, Marines or Coast Guardsmen.
Josh is an AKC Labrador Retriever, bred by a Vietnam era veteran. Michael C. Turner, Josh’s handler, is also a Vietnam era veteran.
When not with his handler, Josh works as a VMF “demonstration dog” for the program, educating veterans, military personnel, families and health care teams about the benefits of service dogs. He also participates in therapy work and “animal assisted activities” and “animal assisted therapy” at Walter Reed Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.
“We are extremely thankful for DynCorp International’s recognition of our vision to be the most effective and trusted resource for canine therapy for veterans,” said Karen Jeffries, executive director of Veterans Moving Forward.
About Veterans Moving Forward
Veterans Moving Forward was founded by Karen Jeffries and Bob Larson. Jeffries, a service-disabled veteran with 24-years of experience in the U.S. Navy, spent 18 months raising and training an assistance dog with the hope that he would be placed with a veteran. Larson, an entrepreneur, managed the construction of an outpatient clinic for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Both wanted and needed to further serve veterans and together, they created Veterans Moving Forward.
VMF’s unique canine program addresses the dramatic, unfulfilled needs of our veterans and service members. VMF’s dogs have visited wounded military service members at area hospitals, in addition to participating in therapy sessions with veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and educating veterans’ service organizations about the need for more fully-trained service dogs.
DynCorp International Supports
“Our veterans put themselves in harm’s way for this country, and we want to do what we can to assist them when they return home. DI is proud to support Veterans Moving Forward’s important work to train and provide therapy and service dogs to veterans with PTSD, traumatic brain injury and other injuries incurred in the line of duty,” said Steve Gaffney, DynCorp International CEO.