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Reid and K-9 April

K-9 April

My name is Reid. I am deeply honored and grateful to be supported by Soldier 6.
Ever since I was a little boy, I was fascinated by law enforcement and first responders. I grew up next to a police officer and tried to learn as much as possible about the profession from my neighbor. He regularly would bring his squad car home and my parents would have a hard time getting me to come back home. My father and I were fortunate to be able to do a ride along with our neighbor which further cemented my passion for protecting and serving.
In high school, I participated in the Boy Scouts Explorer program with a suburban fire department for several years. I learned about emergency first aid and firefighting.
After college, I worked several professions before I realized my true calling was in the helping professions.
I worked as a Deputy Sheriff for 14 years. I was fortunate to be supported by great colleagues and supervisors. Working as a Deputy gave me great opportunities to assist the community. I was fortunate to have many different positions in the Sheriff’s Office and worked everything from corrections to warrant details to National night out. I treated everyone I encountered with respect and compassion and received the same in return from most people.
I received multiple departmental acknowledgments for lifesaving efforts and contributing to public safety.
Unfortunately, while responding to an emergency, I suffered an injury which ultimately led to my inability to return to law enforcement.
After my first surgery, I underwent over 30 physical therapy sessions. I continued to have significant pain and did not show improvement.
After returning to work on light duty, in a full leg brace and on crutches, while leaving work I was assaulted by a homeless person.
The attacker stalked me leaving the public safety facility and rushed towards me growling at me. He knocked me to the ground.
I was nearly defenseless but fought back hitting the assailant with one of my crutches, bending it and making it useless. I fought and stood up and attempted to flee but he followed me. I hobbled away and sought refuge in an apartment building.
As a result of the attack, I had to have a second MRI and multiple doctors appointments to make sure the assault hadn’t reversed my surgery. The attack triggered a severe case of PTSD and hyper vigilance.
After getting a second opinion on my failure to improve , the surgeon determined that my first surgery had not fixed my injury. I underwent a second surgery and many painful months of recovery.
I had over 100 physical therapy sessions in total to recover to my new baseline.
As a result of my injury, the assault, the medical stress, and tolls of the profession, I developed a complicated case of grief and PTSD.
I’ve been fortunate to find a great therapy team that has helped me to start processing my substantial struggles. It hasn’t been easy and I’ve encountered many speed bumps along the way but I continue to show up and tackle my demons head on.
I am extremely grateful to Soldier 6 and Cranberry Creek kennel for allowing me to have K9 April in my life and continue my journey of healing. Her companionship and unconditional love will help me like only a dog is able.

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