A Veteran's Day Story: Gordon & Flame
Here we have the opportunity to learn more about Gordon. Gordon is a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a veteran of the US Armed Forces. In 2009 Gordon unsuccessfully attempted to commit suicide. Following Gordon’s attempt to take his own life, Gordon put together a detailed, well laid plan while showering one day. Part of his daily routine became thinking through this well crafted plan while deliberating whether or not he would be able to make it through the day, every day. Gordon had been struggling on a daily basis to face life, his family, and function as a person outside of the house.
Northwest Battle Buddies partnered Gordon with Flame. Flame is a professionally trained service dog. In the time that Flame and Gordon have teamed up, Gordon has resisted his urges to get distracted while navigating the daily challenges of life that previously gripped him. One of the biggest challenges Gordon faced was the stress of the impending day while going through his morning routine.
Teaming Flame with Gordon has enabled Gordon to go about his daily life routine with much greater ease. Flame has been trained to interrupt Gordon at moments when his mind starts to drift towards dark thoughts. This helps to ground Gordon in the moment and keep him out of his head and able to function as a happier, present human, husband, and father. Flame encourages Gordon to get outdoors and has helped give Gordon the courage to brave the public outside of his home, something he previously struggled to do.
Gordon bravely tells us about his experience dealing with Post Traumatic Stress, and how his determination and commitment to his work with Flame, his NWBB provided service dog and best friend, has changed his life. He gives us a window into how Flame intuitively responds when she senses that he is in distress, and explains that she helps relieve the pressure of what comes next – keeping him grounded and present each and every day.