ABQ veteran with PTSD reunited with service dog

Updated: 07/06/2014 10:58 AM | Created: 07/05/2014 9:18 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Andrew Bear is one of hundreds of thousands of veterans with PTSD.

“I think a lot of guys come home and don't know how to deal with the day to day,” Bear said. “Life when you come back from combat. It's hard. It's hard to deal with that, that change.”

He went through months of inpatient treatment, where doctors learned he also had a traumatic brain injury and epilepsy, but his dog DJ was the only thing that made him feel like he could make it through the day.

“He brings you down,” Bear said. “Back down to a calm level. He's your buddy. He's your battle buddy, that's what we call it. He's your battle buddy.”

Every Fourth of July, fireworks bring Bear back to a place he doesn’t want to go, and he says his service dog DJ never liked them either. Friday, Bear opened the garage door just for a moment, and when a firework went off, DJ ran off.

Bear says he couldn’t look at DJ’s leash or jacket without crying, and he couldn’t leave the house without panicking. 

DJ was found and returned to Bear Saturday night. 

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