Posted by Merrie Aiken and Myron Goodman, DCoE Public Affairs on May 12, 2016
When an occupational therapist at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) asked Jake Young to train a service dog as a form of therapy, the former Navy SEAL wasn’t exactly sold on the idea.
“My first impression was they were just trying to pacify me,” said Young. “I’ve got a dog at home. I wanted more brain games and speech therapy.”
On the other hand, Young, at NICoE receiving treatment for a serious traumatic brain injury (TBI), knew his recovery from an explosion that occurred on his 12th deployment wasn’t going well. Despite his best efforts, his cognitive skills were declining.
“I had issues with headaches, reading and math,” said Young, who spent 23 months in the hospital. “I did all the standard physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy. One thing would get better and something else would drop off.”