Family Of Marine Coma Victim Help Canine ‘Marine’ Overcome PTSD


Posted on 8th October 2010 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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 The family of a hero Marine, who was died after being in a coma, is  now trying to help another “Marine” get over his post-traumatic stress disorder from combat in Afghanistan. The Marine with the PTSD is Gunner, a bomb-sniffing dog.

The Wall Street Journal this week wrote the story about Deb and Dan Dunham, who have adopted the Labrador retriever and are trying to help him recover from the trauma of combat.  

The Dunhams, who live in Scio, N.Y., are getting over their own emotional heartache, according to The Journal. In 2004 their 22-year-old Marine son, Corporal Jason Dunham, during combat in Iraq threw his helmet over a live granade to protect two of his men. They walked away with wounds, but Jason took a piece of scrapnel in his brain. He went into a coma, The Journal reported.   

Jason stayed alive and was brought to a naval hospital in Maryland, but the Durhams were told that their son would not regain consciousness. The family had him taken off life support, as per the wishes he expressed before he went overseas. Jason won a Medal of Honor for his heroism.

Gunner, in turn, was trained to find explosives and was deployed to Afghanistan. But combat duty eventualy proved too much for the dog, and it was decided he needed to be shipped back to the states.

The Journal did separate stories about the Dunhams and Gunner, and family was among those that told the Marines they wanted to adopt the dog. The Dunhams got Gunner, and The Journal story describes how the family is helping him get over his PTSD, just as he is helping them deal with the loss of their son. 

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