It's not uncommon for soldiers to come back from active duty and struggle with fitting back in to day-to-day life. Often soldiers' brains are conditioned to experience frequent "fight or flight" responses because of their time in the battlefield.
This Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) often plagues our veterans long after they have been home with their families.
Therapy, medication and service dogs are used to help treat the 1 and every 5 veterans who suffer from
Pax is lovable yellow Labrador who wasn't trained in an expensive canine facility. Instead he was looked after by dozens of women inmates inside the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility.
This maximum security facility has been involved in training service dogs for decades and Pax was just one of hundreds of dogs who have spent time with the women.
He made quite the impression on one inmate, Laurie Kellogg.
Training Pax for PTSD hit so close to home for Laurie.
“I too had P.T.S.D. after years of domestic violence. I too had flashbacks. Pax knew, and he let me know I wasn’t there – I was here,” she said.
So when Laurie found out that her furry friend was going to a soldier, she was thrilled. She knew that Pax had the skills and training to help bring the soldier happiness.
And that's exactly what Pax did. He was able to bring 47-year-old veteran Sgt. William Campbell back from the shadows that haunted him.
Sgt. Campbell served in Iraq and sustained severe concussions and PTSD from car bombs while patroling with his Army National Guard unit.
He was haunted by nightmares and flashbacks which prevent him from being able to leave his house in Washington State.
The supermarket would transform into the bloody streets of Baghdad, with fears there were snipers and an approaching mortar. Pax clings to his side and helps him to feel safe. When he wakes from horror-filled dreams, Pax is there to remind him that he is in his own bed, at home.
After spending some time with Pax, he knew he had to meet the woman that was responsible for training his new canine friend.
Continue to the next page to see the video of Pax's emotional reunion.
The program offers a deep sense of satisfaction for the women- most of whom are serving a sentence for murder, though often their victims were their own tormentors.
Despite being in prison the inmates have found a purpose they can be proud of.
"I took a life, and I'm responsible for that, and I think about it every day," said Rosalie Cutting. She helped to train a dog named Greta to help a blind woman. "We can't change why we're here...I changed somebody's life." she added.
Bill made the trip to Bedford Hills to thank Laurie for the training that gave Pax the ability to help him.
The two sat alongside the other pups and women in the training program and Laurie was able to share how Pax helped her.
“I knew when they told me [Pax] was going to go into PTSD training, that he would make somebody feel the same sense of freedom he gave me in a place where I was supposed to be anything but [free]. He gave me back pieces of myself that I forgot even existed," Laurie said.
"When he left me and they told me he was going to you, Bill, I sat on my floor and cried. I realized that, by giving me Pax and taking him from me, he had given me the greatest gift that anyone had ever given me in my entire life. He restored a piece of my soul,” she finished.
Not only did Laurie get a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the results of her work, but Bill also got to meet the woman responsible for helping with his recovery.
Watch the touching reunion in the video below:
"I never thought I'd see him again," she said. "If they opened the doors and let me out of prison, I wouldn't feel this good," Laurie said.