Scott Green returned from an Afghanistan tour of duty and was discharged in 2014.
When Green had his first grand mal seizure, he was treated at the local Veterans Affairs (VA). He thought that would be his first and last seizure, but unfortunately, it wasn’t. There were no conclusive test results for why these seizures were happening.
He found it difficult to transition to civilian life with a seizure disorder. Green began using public transportation to avoid having a seizure while driving. He was afraid to drive and afraid to be in public.
As a high school political science teacher, he faced teen-filled classrooms at Springdale Junior-Senior High School in Pennsylvania. However, he longed to be invisible and keep to himself.
“I kept to myself. I wanted to be invisible.”
Thankfully, veteran services assist veterans by connecting them to other services such as the local affiliate, Life Changing Service Dogs for Veterans of Pittsburg, PA. This organization then worked with the Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs of Williston, FL to get Green a service dog.
Service dogs are trained for at least 2 years to help people with visible and invisible disabilities such as PTSD, brain injuries, mobility issues, as well as seizure disorders.
Green never thought he would have a service dog, but once they met, he found it hard to remember life without him. The cost for a service dog from Guardian Angels is $25,000, but for veterans it is free. This is made possible through multi-million dollar fundraising campaigns.
“I never really pictured myself having a service dog, but, within three days of meeting Bradley, we were in sync. It’s hard to remember what it was like without him.”
Green is now paired with Bradley, a German Shepherd. Bradley makes civilian life much better for Green. For example, he earned a Master’s degree from Slippery Rock University, PA.
During their 7 years together, Green finally got an official diagnosis of epilepsy. Green is glad to have Bradley by his side if he has a seizure, giving him the confidence to be out in the world again.
“It was really a very dark time when I was having seizures and didn’t know what was going on. But if anything happens now, I’ve got him with me. It’s nice to wake up with a German shepherd staring in my face.”
Scott Green goes on to reflect that Bradley has truly transformed his life, never without him by his side. He is thankful to have been paired with Bradley through the generosity of others.
“I look back on how much I’ve changed, and he’s [Bradley’s] made me more interactive, more engaging and confident … I wouldn’t trade him for the world. I wouldn’t be where I am without him.”
Today, Bradley can be found in the classroom with Green, stretched out by his desk or enjoying attention from his students.
The owners of Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs are fundraising to expand their facilities into Washington County located in western Pennsylvania. This facility will equip 60 dogs to be paired with veterans each year.
For more information, contact Jack Wagner at 412-352-1111 or JWagner@MedicalServiceDogs.com.