Honor National PTSD Awareness Month on June 29

Darian Graivshark
Event flyer courtesy of Jesse Walls

On Saturday, June 29, between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., visit the Walk On's location in Gonzales and help support Louisiana Warriors Unleashed (LWU) in their PTSD Awareness event.

Walk On's is located at 14569 Airline Hwy, and is also a sponsor of LWU. Another co-host is Camp Bow Wow.

LWU provides free services to our Nation's Heroes with service, therapy, and emotional support dogs. LWU meets with a Warrior to find out their specific needs before matching them with a dog. Responders and Veterans diagnosed with anxiety, depression, bipolar/mood disorder, panic attacks, and other emotional/psychological conditions are supported.

LWU's mission is stated: "By providing service dogs, therapy dogs, and emotional support animals to Veterans and First Responders that are dealing with emotional and psychological conditions, Louisiana Warriors Unleashed will improve the quality of life of our Nation's Heroes and deserving animals."

The organization was founded on March 27, 2019 by Jesse Walls, Executive Director, and Misty Walls, Administrative Assistant, Treasurer, and Co-Founder.

Based out of Baton Rouge, LWU seeks to serve East and West Baton Rouge parishes, as well as Ascension, St. James, Livingston, and many other parishes in Louisiana. Their office is located at 8000 Innovation Park Drive, Building 3000.

Some signs that someone is experiencing emotional suffering includes personality change, agitation, withdrawal, poor self-care, and hopelessness. LWU encourages you to connect, reach out, inspire hope, and offer help to those who show signs of suffering in their life.

For the PTSD Awareness event, they hope everyone comes out to put their paws together in the air and support this event, because they care.

All animals in the program are sourced from shelters, and their goals is "uniting companions that need a home with heroes that need a companion."

Service dogs have the ability to do things like retrieve a dropped item, pull a wheelchair, and press an elevator button, amongst other things. Therapy dogs provide therapeutic contact. Emotional support dogs provide companions and relieve loneliness, although they are not considered service animals under the American's with Disabilities Act.

If you'd like to find out more about the LWU organization, visit lawarriorsunleashed.org.

Follow Darian on Twitter @dariangshark.