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Armstrong Healing Heroes initiative assists local veterans with service dogs

March 13, 2019
The Town Crier

When Armstrong began the Healing Heroes initiative on Veterans Day of 2016, the goal was to raise enough funds to donate five service dogs to qualifying disabled veterans within communities they serve. More than two years later, Armstrong has raised enough funds to donate 11 service dogs, with six of those dogs being already paired with veterans. Four of those veterans just returned from the Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs facility in Williston, Florida.

The latest four veterans to be paired include Bryan and service dog Fahrny (Wadsworth, Ohio), Lisa and Yogi (Hamlin, West Virginia), Harvey and Rosa (Austintown, Ohio) and Samara and Angel (Scottdale, Pennsylvania). The veterans spent time training at the Guardian Angels headquarters, learning how to live with their new companions.

"It is very satisfying to see these veterans coming back with smiles on their faces and starting their 'new normal' at home," said Jeff Ross, Armstrong President. "When Armstrong committed to this cause in 2016, these were the moments we were most excited to see."

Article Photos

Austintown veteran Harvey and his Healing Heroes companion Rosa share a hug.

"The training and pairing expense for each service dog is approximately $22,000. Armstrong, our customers and our communities have helped to raise over $245,000 to date," said Sam Pietrangelo, Community Marketing Manager and Healing Heroes Committee Chair. "We've paired a total of six veterans so far, with at least five more to go."

Statistically, every day, 22 veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) commit suicide. After a veteran has been paired with a Guardian Angels' service dog, the quality of their life improves significantly. According to Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs there have been no reported suicides of veterans paired with a service dog.

Armstrong continues to raise money for their Healing Heroes program. To donate or for more information please visit



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