First female veteran in AL gets service dog - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

First female veteran in AL gets service dog

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

History was made in Alabama on Saturday when one woman became the first female veteran in the state to get a service dog.

“I feel like the dog is a second chance at life,” Candace Reppond said.

An Army veteran who toured in Afghanistan, Reppond said things haven’t been easy since her deployment in 2014.

"May 21st, I actually put a pistol to my head and pulled the trigger. As I turned it away, it discharged. At that point, is whenever I realized that I gotta get help,” Reppond confessed.

She said she felt unhappy and worthless. She was later diagnosed with PTSD.

"There's something about when you actually put the weapon to your head and then you squeeze the trigger...it's..I don't know...eye-opening...realizing that this was almost death for me,” Reppond said.

That day, something changed.

She was introduced to the "Service Dogs Alabama" organization, which places suffering people with a dog for comfort.

Reppond said her service dog will finally allow her to comfortably go out in public, be around friends, and live a more at ease lifestyle.

In Cullman on Saturday, Reppond met her new four-legged friend. She says she now has several reasons to smile: her service in the military, her husband and now her dog.

She affectionately named the dog Chance. 

Over the next several weeks, they'll get to know each other more and more until their bond is unbreakable.

Trainers with "Service Dogs Alabama" will constantly be in touch with Reppond until she and her dog are fully comfortable with each other.

Service Dogs Alabama is a nonprofit organization. For more information, click here to visit their website.

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