War vets find solace in four-legged friends

Image: CNN He was antisocial and difficult to work with…

Image: CNN

He was antisocial and difficult to work with at first. He’d clearly been abused by his father as evidenced by the deep, round scab near his shoulder. He hadn’t been eating well.

And he was so skittish that the slightest noise or motion set him off. But Army veteran Jeff Wilson needed a new dog, and this pound puppy — a border collie-German shepherd mix — was it.

He named him Lobo, and it wasn’t long before Wilson, 44, realized they had the same issues.

“We were kind of kindred spirits,” he said. “I think it really helped deepen our connection because he wasn’t just helping me; I was helping him. I was helping him get past the same obstacles that I had. I had to recognize it in myself and get past that to help him.”

Wilson is a former tank commander and flight engineer who isn’t at liberty to speak about his time in Iraq other than to say he manned a machine gun while hanging out of the door of a helicopter. He can also say that he was often “exposed to very dangerous situations” during his 14 years in the service.

Read the rest of Eliott C. McLaughlin for CNN.

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