White House Photos of the Week – March 8, 2019

President Donald J. Trump signs the first veto of his presidency Friday, March 15, 2019, in the Oval Office. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead) President Donald J. Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence and Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, attends a meeting Friday, March 15, 2019, with national security officials at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va. (Offical White House Photo by Shealah Craighead) Second Lady Mrs. Karen Pence, Head of the Presidential Delegation, marches with U.S. athletes during the opening ceremony of the 2019 Special Olympics World Games Thursday, March 14, 2019 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. 7,500 athletes and 2,500 coaches will represent a record 192 countries in 24 sports at these games. (Official White House Photo by Amy Rossetti)

Second Lady Mrs. Karen Pence, Head of the Presidential Delegation, attends the opening ceremony of the 2019 Special Olympics World Games Thursday, March 14, 2019 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

White House Photos of the Week, March 8, 2019

President Donald J. Trump welcomes the 2018 FCS Division I Football National Champions the North Dakota State Bison Monday, March 4, 2019, in the State Dining Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)Presideent Donald J. Trump welcomes the 2018 FCS Division I Football National Champions the North Dakota State Bison Monday, March 4, 2019, in the State Dining Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour) President Donald J. Trump is applauded after siging an executive order “Supporting the Transition of Active Duty Service Members and Military Veterans into the Merchant Marines” Monday, March 4, 2019, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)President Donald J. Trump delivers remarks to the National Association of Attorneys General Monday, March 4, 2019, in the State Dining Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour) First Lady Melania Trump participates in a discussion on online safety and the First Lady’s BE BEST initiative Monday, March 4, 2019, at the Microsoft Executive Briefing Center in Redmond, Wash.

Veteran’s Family presented Cracker Barrel Rockers through “Operation Rocker” program.

“Operation Rocker” presented veteran Xavier “Bo” Strain’s family a pair of rockers from the Cracker Barrel in Princeton, West Virginia. Bo served in the Army (06-12), with 2 tours bluing in Iraq. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store®  “Operation Rocker” in partnership with nonprofit partner Operation Homefront. donate one rocker to Operation Homefront for every adult rocker purchased online.

No Longer Behind Enemy Lines Josh Walker Battles PTSD with Service Dog Baxter

Veteran Josh Walker of 101st Airborne questioned PTSD existence for six years before seeking treatment

Article by Ken Budd, courtesy of HumanAnimalBond.org

Before his dog Baxter changed his life, Josh Walker was suffering from night terrors. In 2005, Walker was deployed to Iraq as a cavalry scout in the 101st Airborne, enduring ambushes and firefights. The nightmares started when he returned home, along with hallucinations, fits of anger, and fear. He’d slam on the brakes when he was driving, thinking a roadside object was an IED. It took him six years to accept that he was suffering from PTSD, despite the concerns of his fiancé and family. But denial, he says, is common for many combat veterans.“If somebody I respect could accept it, maybe there was some truth to this PTSD thing.”

“If you’re suffering from PTSD, it means you weren’t strong enough.”

“You’re trained that if something is wrong with you—physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally—then you’re worthless to the unit,” says Walker, 34. “So if you’re suffering from PTSD, your mentality is that you can’t admit it because it means you weren’t strong enough.”The well-meaning reactions of people at home can also be problematic. “People buy you drinks and pat you on the back and thank you for your service,” he says. “So for you to say, ‘I’m actually struggling really bad, I’m not sleeping, I’ve got anger issues, stress, depression’—it feels like it would devalue your contribution and sacrifice.”

His attitude finally changed when he read a blog by a Special Forces combat veteran about his service dog and his experiences with PTSD. “I thought, ‘If somebody I respect could accept it, maybe there was some truth to this PTSD thing.’” He eventually entered a pilot program at West Virginia University—where he was taking classes—for PTSD service dog training. That’s how he met Baxter, the Golden Retriever who changed his life.