Dave and K-9 Nya
I grew up in a small town in Minnesota –graduating high school in 1994. Following high school, I went onto college and became a police officer. I started working full time as a deputy sheriff in SE Minnesota for 17 years. During that time, I worked patrol and spent 7 years on the SE MN Narcotics & Gang Task Force undercover.
In 2015 I transferred departments and began working for a city in Southeastern Minnesota. I worked there for six years and my mental health during those six years started to decline. My anxiety was through the roof, I began having nightmares, and was diagnosed with PTSD. In August of 2021 I left law enforcement after a suicide attempt. I chose my life over my job.
I was already struggling mentally, and now I was giving up the only career I had ever known. One I loved and was so passionate about…but over the years the passion for the job and life slipped away. I continued – simply existing but not living despite routinely going to therapy sessions. My nightmares briefly subsided, but in May of 2023 after they returned, I planned out my suicide, however my wife was able to get me a spot at Chateau Recovery where I spent thirty days working on myself and starting to actually heal internally. While at Chateau it was recommended to get a service dog. I was quite hesitant – actually told my wife no. But after my wife reached out to Soldiers 6, and many long conversations about just how much a service dog can help with PTSD, I decided to give it a try. We’ve only had our puppy for a short time, but she is already making a difference. I am excited and looking forward to life – something I haven’t experienced for a very long time.