Fundraiser to help a local war hero get a PTSD service dog

Kingston, ON, Canada / CKWS TV

KINGSTON – It’s been about a decade since decorated Canadian war veteran Collin Fitzgerald returned from his last tour of duty in Afghanistan…but it hasn’t been an easy road back. The 37 year old, originally from Morrisburg Ontario, has been battling PTSD.
Jaqueline Evoy/Pre Health Science Student at St. Lawrence College:
“Realistically it’s something that a lot of people struggle with. They don’t want to reach out for help.
They feel like it’s a burden.”
But there could be help for Fitzgerald…in the form of a four legged friend.
The Iron King gym and several St.Lawrence College Pre Health Science students joined forces with the charitable organization Kingston 4 Paws to help Fitzgerald get a special service dog.
Samantha Knapp/Dog Trainer, Kingston 4 Paws:
“Some of the people that require the services of a PTSD service dog have flashbacks and nightmares often and our dogs can help them through that.”
Arthur Laramie/Owner, The Iron King:
“It’s a lonely feeling and an angry feeling.”
Arthur Laramie, the owner of The Iron King, is also a veteran and though he didn’t tour at the same time as Fitzgerald, he still feels that brotherhood bond.
Arthur Laramie:
“I hope that it shows and brings awareness to everyday Canadians…
that there’s many heroes walking among us…and for him to know that he’s being honoured”
Money was raised in different ways including this grueling circuit style training session. These athletes were put to the test, collecting pledges… people could donate 10 dollars per rep of intense moves.
Kevin Fournier/Gym Goer:
“I raised 350 dollars. I did burpees, pull ups, chin ups, sit ups, push ups and squats.
I did 50 of each one.”
Heather Senoran:
“The goal of the event is to raise 20 thousand dollars because that’s how much it cost to train and place each service dog like Bayou.”
Or Lucy. Both Labrador Retrievers are 2 of the 34 dogs at K 4 Paws that are waiting to be paired with a new family.
As for Fitzgerald, he hasn’t been matched with the right canine just yet but the man of few words is grateful for those who showed their support. Close to 10 thousand dollars was raised in just one day proving that Fitzgerald is well on his way from ‘pain to purpose’.

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