BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Baton Rouge police are investigating a former employee of the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center on felony theft charges. Police says the former center's director of facilities allegedlymore>>
Baton Rouge police are investigating a former employee of the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center on felony theft charges.more>>
The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office is investigating a deadly shooting in Marrero. The incident happened around 6:45 a.m. Thursday in the 6600 block of 14th Street. Officers arriving on the scenemore>>
Police have identified the victim in Thursday's deadly shooting in Marrero. Police say Terry Holden, 47, was shot and killed Thursday morning.more>>
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -
An LSU student veteran is on a unique mission to help save lives. Sgt. Nick Trapani wants to connect combat veterans with service dogs, and the inspiration came through his own personal struggle.
Diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Trapani quickly realized the traditional treatment was not working.
“The first step is asking for help when you know you need help, and I realized I needed help because I was on anti-depressants and I didn't like it. I wasn't myself. I just couldn't function normally,” Trapani said.
Getting nowhere with his request for a service dog from the Veterans Administration, Trapani took his search for a dog to the internet, starting a fund to help himself and others like him get the help they need. As a student living off the GI Bill, Trapani said he couldn't afford to buy and train a service dog. But after only one month of fundraising, he was able to purchase a Doberman Pinscher he named Gunner.
“The dog is just like having security on the battlefield. Right now I'm his protector, I'm his everything, but as he grows up that's going to transition to where he has my back more, and that'll probably decrease anxiety,” he said.
As a United States Marine Trapani served in the Middle East for three years in the same unit as Sgt. (Ret.) Juan Valdez. On November 3, 2006 in Karma, Iraq Valdez was shot through his arm and right side. He credits much of his recovery to his service dog.
“In essence Midas saved my life, and I started sharing that kind of positive energy that he gave off with everyone around me when I was going to my PTSD groups and stuff like that, and two friends of mine told me that they didn't commit suicide because of him,” Valdez said in a Skype interview from New York.
The VA estimates 22 veterans take their own lives every day, so when another of Valdez's friends was suffering, he and Trapani donated funds for his service dog.
“To me it was a no-brainer,” Valdez said. “He needs some help and we're all brothers in arms, so we never leave each other behind, or we never do anything alone.”
Retired USMC Corporal Jay Thibodeaux is another of Trapani's brothers in arms. The first step in his service dog training was also funded through Nick's efforts.
“It's always good to have people like Nick there to help you out, and it's dramatically helped me out. I wouldn't be where I'm at right now if it wasn't for Nick helping out with all he has,” Thibodeaux said.
Back from deployment for less than a year, Thibodeaux already sees a difference in himself since getting Julie – his Bluetick Coonhound – in February.
“It’s just camaraderie with them. I've grown with Julie, and she's grown with me. We've definitely bonded,” he said.
Trapani’s project is in its early stages. Of his initial goal of $4,000, he’s now raised $1,680. But he says the mission is more important than the money.
“That's what I want to promote: being yourself, and overcoming the stresses from combat. But you don't need medication to do that,” he said.
Investigators say an Algiers man shot and killed a masked robber who held him and his wife at gunpoint. The incident happened just before 10 p.m. Wednesday in the 1800 block of West Homestead Drive. Policemore>>
Investigators say an Algiers man shot and killed a masked gunman who attempted to rob him and his wife at their home.more>>
Tuesday, August 19 2014 4:10 PM EDT2014-08-19 20:10:07 GMT
The police chief for Gulf Shores along Alabama's coast is weighing-in on the actions of the law enforcement commander in charge of Ferguson, Missouri's in the wake of an escalating crisis brought on bymore>>
Gulf Shores Police Chief Ed Delmore wrote a blistering open letter to Captain Ronald S. Johnson, who was given command of law enforcement operations following days of looting and rioting in the city.more>>
Dashcam footage captures an amazingly acrobatic motorcycle accident. As a car switches lanes, a motorcyclist slams into the vehicle's rear bumper. The motorcyclists is launched into the air, flips andmore>>
Dashcam footage captures an amazingly acrobatic motorcycle accident.more>>
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