EDISON, N.J. – On Friday morning at The Barclays, while the best golfers in the world competed for a place in the weekend pairings, a special ceremony took place in the Patriots’ Outpost near No. 9 tee. In a place as historic as Plainfield Country Club – it was the site of the 1777 Battle of Short Hills and is the only course in the nation that is on the National Register of Historic Places– it seems only fitting that The Barclays celebrates with members of the United States armed forces. Veterans and servicemen and women alike gathered for a special moment when Stryker presented a donation to the K9s for Warriors program, pledging to provide a K9 service dog for a Warrior.
The matching of a Warrior to a service dog is an intricate process that begins when the Warrior submits the program application. Pertinent details about the Warrior’s life are taken from the application; this includes but is not limited to family size, house type and activity level. A series of phone interviews are then conducted by the qualified Warrior Coordinator to discuss both the physical and mental disabilities of the Warrior. After this point, the Lead Dog Trainer and the Warrior Coordinator meet to talk about each Warrior file. This meeting takes place approximately 90 days prior to the Warrior starting the program.
The dog training process begins with a thorough evaluation of the canine, including a veterinarian-administered physical health examination. If the dog does not display any health issues, it can start an onsite obedience training regimen. After this stage, dogs can begin specialized task training. Finally, the dog will finish its training, venturing out into the public. Once the trainers are confident that the dog has mastered all necessary skills, the dog is put in queue for placement with a Warrior.
Because the Stryker-dedicated K9 has not yet been matched with its Warrior, Steve Boyd, a local Plainfield Warrior and his K9 Torii, served as a testament to the substantial impact these K9s have on veterans’ lives. Prior to life with Torii, Boyd was taking 14 medications a day and now, he is nearly 100 percent medication free, taking it only as rarely needed.
“Stryker is proud to partner with K9s for Warriors to sponsor the adoption of a service dog to a well deserving hero. Support, awareness and appreciation for the military and veteran communities is a key priority for Stryker’s social responsibility initiatives, and especially meaningful to me as an Army veteran. We look forward to working with the organization and learning more about the Warrior that is matched with “Stryker” and sharing the progress and success of this duo with our employees,” Michael Carter, VP & GM, Implant and Robotics Marketing, Stryker Orthopedics said.