The Story of William & Chester

william chesterIn June 2005 William L. Inman II fulfilled his dream of serving his country by enlisting in the US Army Light Infantry. As part of Operation Enduring Freedom he took part in three tours in the Zabul Province of Afghanistan in 2007-2009. Throughout his deployment he was exposed to numerous blasts that ranged from IEDs, RPGs, rockets and mortars that left him with a traumatic brain injury. He also suffered a severe injury to his lower back and began showing major symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Once he began treatment for his injuries he was moved to a Warrior Transition Unit and was ultimately discharged and retired from the US Army in June of 2012. He is now continuing treatment at Bay Pines VA Hospital.

William joined the H4H program Sept 29th, 2012 and immediately began training with Chester, who was just completing his service dog training. From the beginning, William was devoted to Chester and came reliably to our 4 day/week classes for two months.  He studied hard and learned how to maintain and continue Chester’s training. the two of them have developed a wonderful working partnership and friendship. They are a perfect match for each other, and it’s awe inspiring to see William relax and light up every time he comes near Chester. Returning to civilian life is unimaginably hard with PTSD, traumatic brain injury and severe physical pain. Each day is a new battle just to make it through, and having Chester by his side will make a world of difference.

Thanks to a few generous donations, Chester was able to move in with William and his family on November 26th.  Like many veterans returning from war, he is experiencing lag time in getting the financial support from government programs he qualifies for, and he still needs help from the community to make ends meet until he can get his benefits organized and coming in as they should.  It is his wish that the William and Chester Fund be ongoing when he no longer needs this assistance to provide for Chester, to support  fellow veterans in similar circumstances following behind him. William is one of our country’s heroes, and we are so proud to be able to provide Chester to assist him as he re-enters civilian life with many challenges ahead.

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