Organization gives back to veterans - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Organization gives back to veterans

Howard Mattice served three tours as a marine in Iraq. Howard Mattice served three tours as a marine in Iraq.
Before Maverick, Mattice says the last time he went to a mall was back in 2004. Now, he's feeling more confident. Before Maverick, Mattice says the last time he went to a mall was back in 2004. Now, he's feeling more confident.
This Able Veteran is a new organization started in 2011. Maverick is part of the first class to be paired with veterans. This Able Veteran is a new organization started in 2011. Maverick is part of the first class to be paired with veterans.
MURPHYSBORO, IL (KFVS) -

One local organization is giving back to veterans. This Able Veterans trains service dogs and pairs them with returning veterans.

Howard Mattice served three tours as a marine in Iraq. His time defending our freedom continues to affect on him.

"I don't sleep too well," Mattice said. "I sleep on the norm two hours a night. Sometimes I don't sleep at all."

But, his new sidekick is changing all of that.

"And something I've lacked was purpose. I have that now," Mattice said. "This is my purpose."

He is referring to his new dog Maverick. On Monday, Maverick helped Mattice face his fear of airplanes.

"He was not sitting in my lap, I would honestly freak out. I hate them things," Mattice said.

That trust has even made a bigger impact.

"Actually, I've taken Maverick as a battle buddy," Mattice said. "He's another Marine to me."

In just a short amount of time, Maverick has gotten to know Mattice better than anyone.

"His ability to read and recognize in his veteran what's going on internally even before it manifests externally," said Behesha Doan with "This Able Veteran." "That dog is amazing."

Before Maverick, Mattice says the last time he went to a mall was back in 2004. Now, he's feeling more confident.

"He's got me around people," Mattice said. "I'm even smiling a little more with him."

Mattice says anything is possible even a bright future, something he see before.

"I tried to start school, but if everyone jumping around I can't concentrate," Mattice said. "But now, I think I can focus more with him. Maverick is the man right now. He's the man of the hour."

This Able Veteran is a new organization started in 2011. Maverick is part of the first class to be paired with veterans.

Costs of training a dog are about $12,000 to $20,000.

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