Justin K-9 Max
My name is Justin, and I grew up in the Twin Cities metro area. I am married to my high school sweetheart Jessica. We have two children, Daidre, and Hayden. I had a dream of becoming a Game Warden, so I attended North Hennepin Community for Law Enforcement (and CCJLE), and graduated in 2002. I wasn’t able to find a job in law enforcement right away, so I applied with the MN DOC, and became a Corrections Officer in 2004. I only intended to be there for a couple of years, but it led to a 16+ year career. While being employed with the DOC I witnessed several traumatic experiences. However, none would compare to the events of July 18, 2018, when my personal friend and coworker was brutally murdered by an inmate. I was one of the first to respond to this incident. This incident in particular brought on many sleepless nights that were filled with flashbacks and nightmares and days that were filled with uncertainty. In the coming weeks it was evident I needed help and started therapy and was officially diagnosed with PTSD, Anxiety and depression. Since 2018 I have been on more medications than I can recall, trying to combat the many symptoms of PTSD. I still attend therapy on a regular basis. July 18, 2018, was the last day I worked as a Corrections Officer, and was officially granted duty disability retirement in 2020.
I served my community for several years by volunteering on our local fire department. This was an opportunity that I was honored to have. However; due to experiencing flashbacks while on a call, it was clear I needed to resign. I really miss the brotherhood that I had on that department.
I still have nightmares on a regular basis. I always feel anxious, and that is heightened when I need to leave my house. I struggle with going into public places, and rarely go without my wife. I feel like having a service dog will greatly alleviate some of my symptoms, and will make going into public places more tolerable. Thank you Soldier’s 6, for making this wish a reality.