MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – They say dogs are a man’s best friend, and that holds true for Green Beret veteran, Keith Holland and his Belgian Malinois, Quil. The two bonded after Holland served for 15 years as a Special Forces soldier.
“We go everywhere together. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be able to get off the couch. I used to sit at home and not do anything or go anywhere,” Holland said.
Quil was trained by Baden K-9 and matched with Holland through the charity, Special Operations Wounded Warriors, or SOWW, which gives both Special Forces veterans and active duty military the resources they need to transition back into society.
“From the SOWW perspective, it gives them a battle buddy, so as they move around their communities, they have a dog with them, like they used to have a teammate with them, so they’re able to get out of the house and move about where they were possibly confined in their home,” Jud Khun, President of SOWW and owner of Jud Khun Chevrolet said.
Baden K-9 doesn’t just train dogs for those who serve, but also their families to keep them safe while their loved ones are overseas.
“It’s not only what they come home with, some of the veterans that are still active and deployed, having a family home protection dog with them that allows security; them knowing there’s security back with their families while they’re out still serving,” Joshua Perry, owner of Baden K-9 said.
The dogs help veterans handle both the physical and invisible wounds of the war.
“We know for a fact it saves lives,” Khun said. “We’ve sent the guys up there to get training with the dogs who have written us letters saying they had picked a day that they were going to take their life.”
Holland says Quil serves as his extra set of eyes and ears.
“He cuts down my anxiety, when I go out in public, I don’t have to be all uptight and really looking for dangers everywhere because I have him to take care of that now,” Holland said.
SOWW also takes veterans on outdoor retreats and offers therapy if needed.
To support SOWW, or to get involved, click here.