When Tim joined the Navy in 1996, he saw it as an opportunity to leave his small town and see the world. Five years later, the nation was at war. “Sept. 11 changed everything,” he said. By 2003, Tim began to experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress.
“At the time, you didn’t ask for help. We didn’t understand PTSD. It was, ‘Hey, that sucks. You own on it. You can never talk about it. Here’s your next ship.’”
By the time Tim retired in 2016, he could no longer go into stores on his own. “It was too overwhelming,” he said. Friends and doctors eventually convinced him to get help. “I wasn’t as strong as I thought I was.”
Tim met his service dog, Oliver, in September 2022. “It’s almost like a new beginning. It’s part of the process of healing. It’s huge for me. It’s the little things I’m excited for – getting out and doing things with my family again.”