Niebrugge Cares Foundation donates $10,000 to This Able Veteran - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Niebrugge Cares Foundation donates $10,000 to This Able Veteran

Veteran Eric Beach meets his service dog, Maddie, for the first time. Veteran Eric Beach meets his service dog, Maddie, for the first time.

This Able Veteran and an upcoming class of United States military veterans will benefit from the generosity of the Niebrugge Cares Foundation, a charitable and educational organization in Effingham, Ill.

The foundation focuses on providing resources for area service organizations in Southern Illinois. James and Linda Niebrugge established the foundation. Linda Niebrugge contributed $10,000 to This Able Veteran through the Niebrugge Cares Foundation in memory of her husband.

This Able Veteran is a service dog organization serving American military veterans, particularly those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This Able Veteran has pioneered anxiety alert and nightmare interruption training in its dogs that helps provide relief from some of the worst symptoms of PTSD.

“My husband, Jim, with whom I founded the Niebrugge Cares Foundation, was a veteran,” Linda Niebrugge said. “He was a life-long supporter of the men and women who served their country. He understood the sacrifices our military veterans make, and he felt empathy for those who came home haunted by their experiences.”

“For the first time since 2003, I’m not afraid to dream, both while I’m asleep and when I’m awake. This Able Veteran and Maddie have given me that gift. With Maddie by my side, we are figuring out this world and new life together. I didn’t realize how much fear ruled my thought life until I came to the Trauma Resiliency Program. I am becoming my authentic self and chasing my dreams that have long remained dormant. This is living. This is my journey and it feels so good to finally “be home,” says Eric, This Able Veteran service dog recipient and 2014 graduate.

“We hope that with our donation, we can help veterans with PTSD or without hope can find again their will to live and to go on and accomplish many good things in their lives,” Niebrugge said. “We want to help change their focus from the negative to the possible, to the future. We want to help them rise above their trauma and contribute to the society again.

Jim always supported our troops, and he would be pleased to know that the foundation he helped found helped shine a light for veterans who are in darkness.”

Pam Largent, president of This Able Veteran, said the Niebrugge Cares Foundation donation will assist the next class of seven veterans to attend This Able Veteran’s three-week Trauma Resiliency Program, beginning April 2016. This Able Veteran pairs veterans in the program with service dogs trained specifically for them, and teaches them how to work with the dog to manage their PTSD. Some of the This Able Veteran service dogs also assist veterans with mobility or other impairments.

“This is a very costly endeavor,” Pam Largent, president of This Able Veteran, said. “The community of caring people who support This Able Veteran have never let us, or our veterans, down. The wonderful, caring people behind the Niebrugge Cares Foundation may never realize the full extent of how their generous donation makes healing possible for the veterans we serve. Words alone cannot describe the impact of this generosity, and the support of others who believe in our program, on the lives of veterans in need.”

For more information about This Able Veteran, visit the website at www.thisableveteran.org, call 618/964-1162 or email servicedog@thisableveteran.org.

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