It began as a lofty goal – raising $22,000 to help Oakmont Senior Communities pair a Guardian Angels Medical Service Dog with a deserving local veteran. And thanks to the help of Oakmont’s residents, staff, family and friends – and especially with significant donations from the American Legion – this will soon become a reality.

This good news coincides with Oakmont honoring American Legion Post 253 and American Legion 18th District for their generous financial support at a special event on July 13. The money raised goes toward covering the cost of training, transportation and lifetime veterinary care for Whiskey, a 2-year-old German Shepherd.

Whiskey was chosen from 10 service dogs in a special vote. He will be paired with a vet by Veterans Day 2017. The voting took place among Oakmont’s eight communities, which offer everything from independent living, enhanced independent living, assisted living and memory care.

Whiskey’s specialty is PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) training, which helps him to provide non-aggressive protection. He can even recognize nightmares taking place with the person he is protecting. Often, those dealing with PTSD have a very difficult time sleeping; thus, he can help provide most restful sleep. Whiskey can be described as an extremely friendly dog whose trainers love him.

Guardian Angels is a non-profit organization established to raise and train medical service dogs. The organization has paired more than 180 service dogs with recipients 2010. The organization never charges recipients for their service dog.