Danny Onvimala, a 20-year Army veteran, and his black Labrador retriever, Private, share an unbreakable bond. Onvimala battles post-traumatic stress disorder and a traumatic brain injury from his service in Iraq. Private, introduced through K9s for Warriors, a nonprofit that pairs trained service animals with veterans suffering from PTSD and military trauma, has transformed Onvimala’s life. Before Private, he spent five years isolated and anxious, too afraid to leave his home. With Private, his life has changed, and he no longer feels alone.

Private motivates him to set and achieve goals, even those he hadn’t reached in years, like going to the lake with his three children. Onvimala now mentors veterans at the nonprofit, emphasizing the message that they are not alone and encouraging them to seek help. Their journey as battle buddies has just begun, as they continue to support each other. If you or someone you know is suffering from military trauma and needs a service dog, visit for resources and assistance.

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