Dusten and Betsy's Story

Posted on: in [ Placed Service Dog Teams ]

Dusten's Story

Dusten and his veteran service dog Betsy were placed together in April 2019.

Dusten spoke at his graduation, saying "A big portion of why I sought out RFI was because of my wife and my daughter. I wasn't the man that I thought I needed to be for them and Retrieving Freedom gave me means to do that - to be a better husband, to be a better father. I will forever be in debt for what they've done for me." Dusten went on to thank Aaron and Ashley, the original fosters of Betsy, saying "Without you guys...there are no words. Thank you for what you've done for me and my family." 

Read Dusten's original biography below, and leave a comment congratulating the pair!

My name is Dusten Rose and I was born and raised in Northern Michigan. I joined the Marine Corps six days after graduating from high school. I was in the Marine Corps for just shy of ten years. During that period I was deployed in 2008 during the initial push into the Helmand Province in Afghanistan. I was deployed there for a total of 8 months with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, more specifically Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 365. While with the squadron I was a part of air combat element security team and also did U.S. customs work. During the deployment we encountered indirect light arms fire, rocket, and mortar attacks on a daily basis. While this was definitely a scary thing, the most difficult part of the deployment was the loss of some of my brothers.

After returning home I was never able to adjust. Things just didn't seem right with me. Crowds became unbearable, loud noises startled and frightened me, I was quick to anger, and I also started having night terrors. These are only some of the issues I faced. I was able to maintain a semblance of normality for a while, but after some time things stated to spiral. I finally reached a tipping point and was forced to get help. I have been in and out of doctor's offices for the last 5 or so years and nothing has ever seemed to have any real effect. While it did some good for a bit, I would eventually find myself slipping backwards again. After dealing with this for years my wife of suggested that I investigate getting a PTSD Service Dog. This is when I found Retrieving Freedom. Right away my family noticed a difference after I would train and work with Betsy Mae, the service dog I have been working with. With the dog I have been able to face things that have become impossible for me to handle, with going in to public being the biggest. This has allowed me to do more and be more for my 5-year-old daughter and my wife of almost 10 years and has impacted my personal health greatly. I look forward to continuing my training with Betsy Mae and cannot wait until I can take her home permanently.

I would like to thank the Retrieving Freedom Family for everything that they have done for me and I would like to thank all of the people who donate their time and money to assist Retrieving Freedom with their mission.

1 comment

  • Nathan King | May 7th 2019 @ 11:44 PM

    Dusten and I have a lot in common. When I read this article it was almost like someone writing my story. I've applied for a service dog as well and I look forward to positive results like Dusten. I get excited just thinking I may receive the same results.

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