Vietnam War veteran gifted service animal by charity for Christmas
A Vietnam War veteran was gifted a service animal just in time for Christmas.
Larry Keating was gifted a black Labrador retriever named Midnight by the nonprofit group Paws of War at a ceremony in Nesconset Christmas Eve morning.
Paws of War trains and places shelter dogs to serve and provide independence to U.S. military veterans that suffer from the emotional effects of war.
Midnight was trained as a service dog specifically for Keating. The veteran suffers from PTSD from his experiences in Vietnam.
"I had an alcohol problem. I had PTSD and there was no treatment for any of that," said Keating. "The Vietnam veterans, when they returned, they were labeled as baby killers."
Keating runs a counseling center in Smithtown for veterans dealing with PTSD. He says Midnight will also serve as a therapy dog to help his clients.
Paws of War also delivered a service dog to another Vietnam veteran -- Bill Thumm. The Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient was paired with a 4-year-old chocolate lab named Lydia.