Rose Baca – neighborsgo staff photographer
“For some veterans, the dog can help a person go out in public. But for me, Gunny helped me go home,” said Deweerd, a fourth-grade bilingual math and science teacher at Duncanville’s Charles Acton Elementary School. “Work was a good release for me because I was around people and kids. I liked going to work. What I didn’t like was going home to an empty house.”
- Storms terrified him.
- The sound of thunder brought Dustin Deweerd back to the bombs that woke him from the mud compound in Afghanistan where his unit lived.
- Nighttime was the worst.
- His Duncanville home was too quiet with too many opportunities to relive the two years he spent overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- But Deweerd said his match last May to Gunny, a 3-year-old Labrador service dog, has helped the soldier calm his battle with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.