(FOX19) - A local veteran is helping soldiers combat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Kenny Bass served in the Marines during the war in Iraq.
"I was hit with a roadside bomb when I was in country during patrol… When I came home that's kinda really when the issues began," Bass explained.
Bass suffered the issues of PTSD.
"You go to combat and you're trained to turn it on, but when you come home and come back to the civilian world, they don't teach you how to turn it back off," said Bass.
It was a battle that followed him for nine years, until he met Atlas, a 2-year-old German Shepherd.
"Whenever my anger gets up there, he'll go about 5, 6 feet away and then lay down on the ground and signal me, 'hey it's time to relax', waking me up from nightmares," he added.
Atlas isn't Kenny's pet - It's his lifeline.
"Having him… it's freed me up to a world that I haven't experienced at all in the past decade since I got back from the war," said Bass.
It's an outcome Kenny says he wants all veterans to have, which led him to create The Battle Buddy Foundation.
Battle Buddy is a non-profit organization that helps retired soldiers suffering from PTSD to get the help they need, whether it's getting someone counseling or finding a friend like Atlas.
"Having that battle buddy at your side 24 hours a day, you know having somebody always there to watch your back and always there to be your support, it changes everything really," Bass said.
Through donations, he also hopes the Battle Buddy Foundation will also help pay for veterans' service dogs.
Follow this link to learn more: http://kennys.battle-buddy.org/