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Rick's Interview with Kevin and Steve / Dogs Changing Lives

Friday, August 17th

Rick interviews his good friend Kevin Sonka talk about the impact of dogs with Veternas. And we chat with Steve and his best friend Toby on how this is really making a difference. Great interview! Enjoy!

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

So we always like to spend a little bit of time talking about veterans and veterans' issues and causes you know that it's been near and dear to us here in the program for very long time. And tell his children when a Merom. Kevin saw actors with us here today. Those of you who have listened to come nowhere assured that Kevin story. And his son knows David a dog handler who was killed in Afghanistan in 2013. Two weeks actually before we dedicated the power of freedom memorial. Com so we became acquainted pretty quickly as his son his sin not the color red or freedom memorial. Do you could do was killed by an insider with a code green on blue are blue and green and blue or green in my dream you have so. David and the garden that he was. I'm working with which proves that reflects they were both killed and then another service member right incentives that are prepared Christian. So and so you know from death. You know unimaginable. Situation for a family what do you do then and and really you have options continue to let it consume new. And we've certainly seen a bunch of cases yes yes. Where that's happened to come or you can see you know what I'm an do some how good is gonna come of this somehow someway in interment has taken that churning with. Rocky mountain dogs project lets the start without tell people about the approach. Okay recommend those project originally. What we set out to do David loved. The gentleman by the name Jonathan Jon Hamm who came out and who's to depreciation state dinners for him and his group then. In California and you've mentioned it a couple of times and do we want all the funds from the memorial to go to post project feed the dogs. Think to myself. Welcome our military doesn't supply dog food relief. Crazy so I found out what it was in. But I know he actually serves stakes so I wanted to in his honor and they've its owner to take this nationwide. And travel the nation loosen state didn't depreciation state finished burned and so we we open it up between thirteen and we been successful with them down. We're up over. Five years probably around 4000 some states are. As I got to know these service members. You know there are worried about when they get out what they're gonna do in problems they've been hand in hand sorted me more more veterans and proms or have been. A number twenty came out and like that really bothered me. And it's you know I wonder how I can disable. Yeah maybe if I can disable them but because if you. And so. So we'll service did you wonders shirt and so we don't know our service those department about a year and a half ago you and we've six hour right now. On Saturday ever poker room fundraiser whom we will introduce our seventh. So. These service members have been doing wonderful everything's not perfect and we're gonna say that. But you know relationship is perfect and that's true. But you know we've got we some of these guys are doing really well. So moon spouses have been given back some fathers mothers have been given back to their kids yeah and they're leading as normal a life. As it possibly can. So. I know we've got to we've got at least one he's with us here today Steve Brown. Who. Toby his service dog has been like changing here I mean I'm gonna let him talk about that so. And it's obvious from the minute. Good food that they walked in just through the bond between troops and thanks for coming and appreciative. Newser not easy to talk about with other people some strange and over you're wearing headphones and a note Phil your life story. Send an easy thing to do good through. If you're that sure would prefer stuff. Until Toby showed up who's pretty rough. Yes sir. I really didn't have an outlet before Toby. I was on. Cocktails of medications to try to curb my depression anger yeah. And there's really no. I felt no way out. Of that life. Until. My wife met Kevin after his functions up in Quantico Virginia okay and she brought it to my attention that they had spoke. And he was interested and sponsor news service dog. Which she did. Mean. Things it's. Just that happened after that. My teaching. Who use. A beautiful daughter. You see it hazard Toby is a German shorter corners about two years old. I've had him for about a year okay six months after Adam 67 months after Adam. Idea I was able to wean myself of all. He TSB related medication while. And I was able to share that. Now maybe what this is. You know you feel you're. Serve army Marine Corps army all right this year and in Munich earlier marina sort of nobody goes says. If the end. Realistically. You know Kevin was was out to at least save one individual now what he did that. Mario. It's for a million pre do you pull them. Thought about taking my own life it's. Foolish to think that way and you know hard earned nearly lost my extremely. People think it's you know a dog is a simple creature not very complex and very helpful. Omen for me. Toby DeVon you know argument dollars project saved my life. Moves alone worth saving improvements in the upcoming tour is this one to over two years long food is served. Hope to countless home but couldn't put him to get through here this long wow 20052007. So Iraq around turn two yeah. Wasn't wasn't moved through 20052007. Was not a pleasant time there now it was. It was pretty active you have time later 2007 a kind of slowed down by 2005 sixers are very active. On what they called conflict I've Cold War yeah. And political. It was made them more determined and I was in 2005 that was all up more knows Baghdad and in Baghdad where. We traveled we traveled basically from Baghdad east okay. And we're out. In the in the country source say new going back and forth so. To Jordan here. In other missions that we were from up where they give us and I can. But you come home after you live the life of on the edge for that amount and timing is hard come back. And be. Normal or an end to their normal everyday work yeah see people. And act normal. And the things that people think are really big problems you just like shaking your head like are you kidding me absolutely yeah yeah. But the biggest thing Iowa I. I would have been unable to be helped by Kevin if I didn't reach out you reached out as well we're obviously right but I mean the veteran. You have to acknowledge got an issue I need some help I want some help if I wanted to help and you. There's I wanna stay here for a long time I'm imagining your wife and their car after she met Kevin how fast she was trying to drive to get home to tell you I think I found something. Pictures she called me and media it's okay from Virginia for the fifth. And told me. And I have a dog is myself we typically do working style gardens. And Belgium almost don't shepherds who and they said hey we got this term or shorter pointer. I jumped on the sea bass like good hey guess I want this style dog you know get along with everybody there. It's going to be a beautiful thing because I had to worry about my service animal. Enact an aggressive manner you know it just wouldn't work out I don't have to worry about that with so we. For for people that don't know about you know because. All of a sudden everybody has service starts right I mean it seems like Q are reaching down article about how somebody start. Trying to get a service animal miss the surface animal that I am an air planners there. For people who who really don't quite understand what she just what it is a service dog does. What is it it will be no lose or or reacts to her senses that helped you what what was full but. From the beginning maps on medication. They're free days I had to wake up and immediately take my medication. I would forget. 11:12 o'clock we're roll around I emit a different sense becoming depressed anger quickly. And Toby. You come up and it's a pressure issue you'd come sit on me jump army put his head. My leg my arm and that is him communicating to me is there something going wrong. And mean I have to think. What is it finished an atomic. Oh I forgot to take my medication today. Whom I go to the bottle they my methods. And at that time that was what I needed to do. But that was his first. That I noticed. Of him telling me. That I needed to do something to fix whatever was born wrong sure simple things. Like that. We're getting the medication you're remind me. I'm glad to say today I don't have to worry about taking my medication very day. Other things. People come to close. Them out from behind me here you'll actually alert me and let me know if I stopped you'll block to my front rear or side. If I'm engaged in the conversation with you on street. Somebody comes up behind me he is gonna tell me that there's somebody behind me source. And use a word startled. You're better individuals not from startled me to where I may feel uncomfortable overreact to Summers being too close to him. Simple things like that in. I mean use a word comfort is not a comfort Darvish he does provide comfort for me it gives me something somebody. To take care. You know I wake up I have to feed on them yes to go to the bathroom it gives me something to do keeps me busy. Pomp and work at home. The whole gamut is with me so. You know and and that. That act. To see being steamer or or any veteran who has the service or from being startled. It gets or your mind immediately take turn to veteran in here and amputee a couple of years ago when he was explained to me driving down I 25 the highway here. That. You know he he catches himself for Renault and incoming distance between cars right he's measuring output as you wouldn't come away when you're over. Delivering weapons or do you know whatever it is you're doing he said enough to shake my head and say oh. And I'm and can had an incidents one where our car pulled up next storm. And it was a woman driving who was Muslim who is again you know traditional garb right. He had his breaks he stopped he said to end. Toby is saving you from situations like that worked it. Not only does it startle you but it takes you to a different place but he kind of grounds me feel well there. He's here I know it. I had a similar us yesterday. We're here we have some smoke covered up the mountains there typically this is a Pandit air that you would have while in Iraq and a lot of days if it's kinda hazy. No stone Kevin while we're in the vehicle. It's not a flashback but this reminds me of children you know certain instances. Not have to do is reach back I need. Toby and sometimes like this in it's on me at this point. You are reach back. The races had the you've talked to whom he enters brings me out of it. So it's not just told me that has to work its myself just to realize and work is not you get a service animal everything's good you know it's. It's a teamwork. Effort there and that's part of the positive aspect of having an animal. On that does with Toby doesn't. Can assure you nothing can bad things about. We're taking that things are firm you've got through because somebody itself immune something special that's helping your. Committed she future revenue organist and and actually new duo along interview for Colorado today that you be able to hear or not this weekend but the following weekend he is going to be reporting your little bit. Kevin Crowley Chad your folks wanna come out to the corridor through to memorial tomorrow morning in just cheer for instant you for them is that is it okay people and to Montgomery. And what's what timely view or tomorrow Pope will start to register. In about 8 o'clock OK and we'll get out of there about 930 and yet everybody wrong poker run will call up and wanting to lose it. Well for Ari on the website for for the project rocky mountain dogs project not a word and dogs is spelled B a WG yes because commended notice what do you do an excellent. But didn't think it affected us and expect that if they put the Raikkonen dogs project all right but your brother. You could Amaechi thank you mentioned as a junior Serena toss them until you're really OK to begin in this mood the sense the smell test until it all right there it. We'll come and so that's cool I love for and threw Toby.