Support is swelling for a New York Marine hoping to raise enough money to purchase a service dog that can help him cope with mental illnesses stemming from his time in service.
Schenectady County resident Scott Matthews, age 24, of Duanesburg, served active duty in the Marines for four years, including one tour to Bahrain between December 2019 and March 2020, he told Daily Voice.
- Related Report: Doggie Paddle: Ballston Spa Army Veteran Kayaking, Biking 4K Miles Fundraising For Service Dogs
The 2016 Guilderland High School graduate, who now works in commercial heating, cooling, and refrigeration, said he found it “very difficult” to return to civilian life after leaving the Marines.
“At the time I did not realize I had PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and other mental illnesses and that was why I felt that way,” Matthews said.
He was eventually diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and PTSD, all of which were attributed to his time in the Marines.
“As a veteran with PSTD, I find it very hard to live a normal life every day and have been advised that a service dog may help me,” he said.
The only problem is that service dogs and their required training can cost upwards of $50,000, one Army veteran told Daily Voice. And not all veterans have their applications for assistance approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Matthews has since launched a GoFundMe campaign to help cover the costs of purchasing a trained service dog, or one that can be trained to his individual needs.
As of Thursday, Nov. 10, he had raised $1,655 on a goal of $8,000.
“Any donations are appreciated,” Matthews said.
Click here to follow Daily Voice Peekskill and receive free news updates.