Sunday, October 27, 2013

Helping Paw

Helping Paw
Gunner's Mate Chief Jeannette Tarqueno, a wounded Naval service member officially received Service Dog Gaza on August 26 after a week of team training. She hopes Gaza will be able to provide more independence and comfort in her life.  Tarqueno has served a distinguished career in the Navy for more than 11 years including service in Yokosuka, Japan at Joint Base Pearl Harbor - Hickam, HI onboard the USS Port Royal. 
Jeannette was struck on the left side of her head by a 30-pound armored plate bracket that was falling from the deck above. Despite the limitations of her injury, Jeannette sets the example of overcoming ones obstacles to continue to live even with the changes she has faced.   After the injury, she took and passed her chief exams, as well as competed in the 2012 and 2013 Wounded Warrior games as a key member of the Navy cycling team. Tarqueno said, "As service members, it is sometimes difficult to put aside our pride and ask for help."

Jeannette reached out to Canines for Veterans with the help of Safe Harbor and her case manager. After completing an extensive application, which included a video and documentation that she was no longer deployable, she was approved for a service dog and matched with Gaza to help her overcome her limitations and achieve her goal of completing a distinguished Navy career.   "The application process asks for a lot of information and the video was most challenging”, says Jeannette.  “but many groups require a service member to travel at their own expense for a face-to-face interview.  Canines for Veterans has found a way to make the application process work without the expense or loss of time to the Veteran.”

Service Dog Gaza will accompany Jeannette and assist her with her balance issues, PTSD and issues related to her traumatic brain injury at her new post in Rock Hill, IL.  "It's a wonderful program. I couldn't be more blessed to have such an incredible companion," said Tarqueno.

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