NEW RICHMOND, OH (FOX19) - It's not often you see a dog leading a parade as Grand Marshal; especially on a day designated for honoring veterans.
Atlas, a military service dog, led the annual Clermont Veterans Day Parade in New Richmond. He's a Battle Buddy Service Dog and this year's designated Grand Marshal.
"He sometimes goes by Atlas the Wonder Dog, but for the most part, he's known as my Battle Buddy," says Kenny Bass, an Iraq combat veteran fro mm 2003 and the founder of the Battle Buddy Foundation. "He's the face of the Battle Buddy Foundation and kind of a representation of the veterans that we are working to serve."
The Battle Buddy Foundation is a non-profit organization that helps retired soldiers suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to get the help they need, whether it's getting counseling or finding a friend like Atlas.
FOX19 previously talked with Bass back in May.
"As a disabled combat veteran, I struggled with Post Traumatic Stress for too long thinking I was alone. When I was pushed and driven to make a change, it required displaying my struggles for everyone to see. Most veterans are not willing to take those drastic steps and our goal at The Battle Buddy Foundation is to meet these veterans where they are, connect them with the necessary resources, and help guide them through to recovery," said Bass, who also serves as The Battle Buddy Foundation Executive Director.
The Foundation is asking veterans and community members to stand with them during the upcoming Veterans Day parade as they strive to serve our nation's wounded heroes.
The Clermont County Veterans' Service Commission typically holds their annual Veterans Day Parade in Batavia. However due to construction, the Village of New Richmond will host the show this year.
You can also follow this link to learn more about Battle Buddy: http://kennys.battle-buddy.org/