He doesn't really sleep because when he does, he has nightmares about it all.””
It’s only in recent years that PTSD among returning soldiers is being treated as a very real and vital social issue. While much progress remains, videos like this give us hope that we’re earnestly working to addressing the problem – and the early results are very heartening.
Peter Coukoulis returned home to Florida after serving in Afghanistan three years ago after serving in the United States Marine Corps. It was clear shortly after his return to civilian life that he was suffering from many symptoms typical of PTSD, which can include (but aren’t limited to) feelings of isolation, insomnia, flashbacks, night terrors, depression, and severe anxiety.
His family quickly noticed his rocky transition to “normal” civilian life and weren’t content to sit by without acting. So Peter’s mom, Dena, came up with a plan to give Peter a puppy after learning that pets, especially dogs, could work wonders against the ravages of PTSD.
Here’s a picture of Peter with his family:
Just a few days ago, the big moment came when the family presented Peter with a gift that they hoped would serve as the salvation from the issues that had plagued him for three years since his return. As you could imagine, it’s pretty difficult to conceal the fact that a live animal is in a box, so Peter quickly put two and two together. However, that didn’t color his reaction one bit when he saw those beagle puppy eyes staring back at him.
Here’s the wonderfully moving video:
His mom explained why the reaction hit especially close to home, recalling, “He grew up with a beagle, called Jackie that we got when he was nine. He loved her so much that he used to call her on the phone when he was away on duty.”
As for the pup’s name? Well, the jury’s still out, but his mom Dena says, “He hasn't named her yet, but he's leaning towards Jenny, after the character in one of his favorite films, Forrest Gump.”
A fitting name from a returning veteran.
The family would like the public to know that the puppy was kept in a well-ventilated box for a very short time and was closely monitored while wrapped up.