NORTHWEST BATTLE BUDDIES
Northwest Battle Buddies was founded to support our combat veterans. Since 2012, we have matched veterans with professionally-trained service dogs, free of charge.
Why We Exist
After serving in combat, part of a close-knit unit, facing challenges and terrors together, many people find the transition to civilian life difficult and lonely. Traumatic memories follow them home.
Every day in the United States 22 veterans die from suicide, due in part to PTSD. That’s over 8,000 lives lost each year.
Northwest Battle Buddies empowers combat Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by partnering them with professionally-trained, specifically matched service dogs.
There is no cure for PTSD. But service dogs can reduce PTSD symptoms with life-changing — life-saving — results. And with a canine Battle Buddy by their side, Veterans with PTSD can regain their freedom and independence.
Many of our service dogs are rescued from animal shelters. All our service dogs spend 7+ months in intensive training, then are carefully matched with a veteran handler for five more weeks of training and bonding, creating the ultimate partnership.
We are ‘saving a life to save a life’ when we rescue a shelter dog to be a Northwest Battle Buddy.
What is a Battle Buddy?
In the United States Army, soldiers are assigned a partner – or “battle buddy” – as a friend and ally to assist one another in and out of combat. Northwest Battle buddies are not only for companionship and to watch one another’s back, but also for the reduction of suicide, keying into negative thoughts and feelings, and stepping in to help. Northwest Battle Buddies is based on that principle of mutual assistance — a service dog and Veteran depend on one another for support and care.
What is PTSD?
“Post-Traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can occur after the Veteran experiences a traumatic event. All Veterans with PTSD have lived through a traumatic event that caused them to fear for their lives, see horrible things, and feel helpless… After the event, the Veteran may feel scared, confused, or angry. If these feelings don’t go away or they get worse, the symptoms may disrupt the person’s life, making it hard to continue daily activities.” (WeHonorVeterans.org)