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Group pays for veteran to train and receive service dog

Lubie Joy Hubers spent 6 years in the Army before coming back to live in West Michigan
Posted at 5:41 PM, Jan 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-22 22:40:58-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.  — A woman living in West Michigan is seeing major progress with her mental health after a nonprofit made it possible for her to get a service dog.

Lubie Joy Hubers spent six years in the Army, doing a deployment in Afghanistan. She left the job about six years ago now and had her son, Sylvan, shortly after.

Hubers sat down with FOX 17 on Wednesday to talk about the K9s for Warriors program. "Just struggled with some everyday issues such as anger and insomnia, depression. Especially for my son, myself and our family, I wanted to get healthy and be the best mom I could," she said.

The young mom tried therapy and medications, but nothing seemed to click until she found about the K9s for Warriors nonprofit.

"I waited a year for my training date and I just used that year to really try and get healthy, get organized, to prepare my house and my son to have a dog," she told FOX 17.

The organization paid to send her down to their headquarters in Florida for a multi-week immersive training program. "You are extremely busy while you’re there but you’re surrounded by people who know what you’ve gone through," she said.

Huber says once she met her service dog, Lee, it was love at first sight. Saying, "within 2 nights my nightmares were lessening and she was waking me up. So right away we created a bond, a very intimate personal bond together."

The group's website describes their work as follows:
"K9s For Warriors is the nation’s largest provider of service dogs to military veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and/or Military Sexual Trauma (MST) as a result of military service post-9/11. The service dog program is unique and offers an innovative approach to recovering from the invisible wounds of war. Two lives are transformed with each pairing: the veteran reduces his/her risk of suicide while the rescue dog receives a newfound purpose."