Cari Woelich and Daisy recently graduated from the JAVELAN Program, a program of the First Responders Foundation that trains service dogs for veterans and retired first responders.
Cari is so thankful to the JAVELAN Program and says that “Daisy gave her, her life back”! Cari and 2-year-old Labradoodle, Daisy, are the 100th Team that has graduated from the JAVELAN Program.
“We knew there was a need, but we had no idea how great a need”.
Tim McAlpine, former JAVELAN Director and one of the program founders said, “We knew there was a need, but we had no idea how great a need”. Cari didn’t realize she needed Daisy. She was used to her life and the way she was living. She said she was almost agoraphobic, anxious about being in a place or
situation where escape is difficult. All of this was due to injuries sustained while serving in the military.
Cari joined the U.S. Air Force on May 30, 2000. Cari, an Air Force Staff Sgt., was injured on the border of Iraq and Kuwait. Her injuries caused permanent damage to both of her knees, her spinal column, and her wrist and also caused hearing loss along with migraine headaches. Cari was medically retired in June of 2007 due to PTSD from the incident and she has been declared 100% permanently disabled.
Pictured here from left to right is Danielle Markins, trainer, with her dog ZZ, Cari and Daisy, Mike Kraus, Dir. of the JAVELAN Program, Tim McAlpine, former Dir. of the JAVELAN Program with his dog, General Patton & his wife Mary McAlpine.
After retiring, Cari didn’t go many places. When she did venture outside she took her oldest son, Alex, with her. They would go to the store and Cari would sit in the car and tell her son what to buy. She didn’t realize how limiting her situation was to her life or her son’s life as she had become accustomed to it. Alex, whom Cari describes as a “great kid” did not mind helping with whatever his mom needed.