Army Sergeant Thomas “Asa” Thurman served in the United States Army from February 2006 to April 2015 and spent much of that time in the Iraq War. Upon returning from duty, Sgt. Thurman was diagnosed with PTSD, TBI, depression and hearing loss. At times, his PTSD is triggered by large crowds and high temperatures, and so he was looking for a companion dog with a calm temperament that would help him engage with the outside world while being in tune with his needs and adapting to his surroundings.
PFV Trainers Rick and Mary Pat Jones located a German Shepherd mix at the Southern Crescent Animal Shelter that was calm, attentive and responsive, a perfect match for Sgt. Thurman. He named his new companion Recon, a nod to his days in the Army. Sgt. Thurman shared the following with Pets for Vets GA:
“To introduce myself, Thomas “Asa” Thurman, and my best friend, Recon, my now Companion Dog, my life-saver, literally. I really don’t think I’d be standing today if it was not for my crazy dog and great pal, Recon. He’s been there through the good and the bad, and in both has been my rock, and my daughter’s rock. Pets for Vets is an amazing organization I’m proud to now be a part of as a “Veteran Liaison”. They have been truly amazing people, every one of them. But I don’t think you’ll find better trainers in the entire nationwide chapter than Rick and Mary Pat Jones, who I now think of as a second Mom and Dad!”