Press

Embrace A Vet was recently featured:

SPECIAL REPORT: Paws for Peace – a two part new program
WABI, TV Channel 5 Bangor, by Brenna Kelly
Data shows around 30% of servicemen and women who have spent time in war zones experience post traumatic stress disorder. While the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System provides treatment and benefits for retired military, they don’t always get the help they need. Brenna Kelly has been taking a close look at a service dog program for Maine veterans called Paws for Peace.
After 40 years of nightmares a dog has helped a Maine veteran. The two parts of this program may be viewed here: Part 1  Part 2

Bangor Daily News, February 7, 2017, Troy R. Bennett, BDN Staff
PORTLAND, Maine — Bob Laidlaw flew combat missions, delivering fuel to forward Army and Marine bases, in Vietnam between 1968 and 1972. Those missions still haunt his dreams.
More…

Embrace A Vet Pairs Service Dogs with Veterans
Coastal Journal, December 22, 2016, Chris Chase – Coastal Journal Staff
MIDCOAST – For most, the holiday season is about meeting up with the family, picking gifts, and enjoying the sights and sounds of the season.  For veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or traumatic brain injury, the holidays can be a very different experience… more

Topsham Pairs Service Dog, Service Veterans
The Mid-Coast Forecaster, December 23, 2016, by Callie Ferguson
After Scott Richard left the U.S. Air Force nearly 25 years ago, he experienced frequent bouts of panic and anxiety and, over time, started to avoid public places… more

Embrace A Vet Moves Forward Despite Passing of Founder
Harpswell Anchor, November, 2016
Last year when the Orr’s Island Library was planning its 2016 schedule of guest speakers for the First Thursday series, offering the November spot to local non-profit, Embrace a Vet seemed especially appropriate. EAV Founder and Executive Director, Joy Johnson, gladly agreed to speak… more

Making a Difference: Honoring a fallen veteran in OOB
WGME – TV News, October 11, 2016
Although this event was held on Sunday, October 16th, Kim Block of WGME News featured this event on the news a few days before.  It is worth viewing!

Joyanne Jewett Johnson – June 17, 1946 – August 6, 2016
The Coastal Journal, Brunswick, ME, August 12, 2016
Brunswick = Joyanne Jewett Johnson of Harpswell passed away on Saturday, August 6, at Mid Coast Hospital’s Bodwell Hospice Facility in Brunswick. She was in the presence of her loving family.   … more

8 local groups awarded grants from Women’s Giving Tree
The Coastal Journal, Brunswick, ME, July 14, 2016
Brunswick–Embrace a Vet – $6,270 awarded to enable three female veterans in the mid-coast area who are suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress and /or Traumatic Brain Injury to participate in five-day healing and wellness retreats…

Maine Women’s Giving Tree Awards Eight Grants
The Cryer, Brunswick, ME, July, 2016
Brunswick–Embrace a Vet – $6,270 awarded to enable three female veterans in the mid-coast area who are suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress and /or Traumatic Brain Injury to participate in five-day healing and wellness retreats…

Embrace A Vet Graduation Held at Highland Green Community Center
The Cryer, Brunswick, ME, May 29,2016,
Topsham — Embrace A Vet (EAV) is proud to announce that on May 3 seven teams of a veteran and a service dog graduated the Brunswick Service Dog Class at a special event held at Highland Green Community Center. These veterans worked hard for 16 weeks to complete this course… more

Veterans, PTSD service dogs graduate from program
Brunswick Times Record, May 11, 2016, by Douglas McIntire, Times Record Staff
Brunswick — Veterans and their new service dogs graduated an intensive 16 week training course last week. The program run by Embrace A Vet, in conjunction with Coastal Humane Society, pairs veterans with post traumatic stress disorder with shelter dogs…. more

K9s on the Front Line
Brunswick Times Record, February 18, 2016
Brunswick — Coastal Humane Society, Embrace A Vet and North Edge K9 work together as K9s on the Front Line to take dogs from the streets or high-kill shelters and make them into service dogs for veterans with post traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injuries. Three weeks into training a new class, vets and their dogs mingled and practiced in the space below Coastal Humane’s office on Pleasant Street….more

Joy Johnson Recipient of Joshua Chamberlain Award
Portland Press Herald, Community News, JANUARY 18, 2016
Brunswick — “Joy Johnson has been named the recipient of the Joshua L. Chamberlain Award, presented last Friday at the Southern Midcoast Maine Chamber’s annual meeting. Johnson was honored for creating the nonprofit “Embrace a Vet,” an organization dedicated to providing direct support services to Maine veterans and their families who are living with post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury. The program also sponsors Paws for Peace and planning support groups for a caregiver program.”

Training of Service Dogs Featured on Local Television Channels
WCSH-6, Training Service Dogs for Maine Veterans, JANUARY 7, 2016
WMTW-8, Police, Veterans Pair Up for Service Dog Training, JANUARY 7, 2016
WGME-13, Giving New Meaning to Man’s Best Friend, JANUARY 7, 2016

Coastal Maine Humane Society Dogs improving veterans’ lives
Shelter partners with Embrace A Vet and North Edge K9
Times-Record, Front Page, JANUARY 5, 2016
“On Thursday at noon, five veterans and their new service dogs will graduate. Training has been taking place in Gorham for the last 16 weeks and this will be the first class to graduate from this newly formed collaboration between Coastal Humane Society of Brunswick, Embrace A Vet, and North Edge K9.

Christian Stickney, a 20- plus-year police officer and K9 trainer with the Portland Police Department, and Hagen Blaszyk, director of Anatomic Pathology for Spectrum Medical Group, formed North Edge K9 three years ago. Stickney’s knowledge and expertise in the law enforcement K9 training sector and Blaszyk’s habit for being medically inquisitive have proven to be a force to be reckoned with regarding their new veteran cause, according to a press release. In 2014, North Edge K9 was given a contract to train five service dogs for veterans in North Carolina. The profound experience made the pair look for ways to continue as they realized the immense need in their own community….” more

LAC hosts class for veterans and their service dogs
University of Southern Maine – AUGUST 4, 2015
LEWISTON — “More than four decades after Roger Gauthier patched up soldiers in Vietnam, he’s learning to soften his sadness and anxiety. His teacher is a yellow Labrador puppy named Bud Light.  Once a week — in a classroom at the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College — Gauthier and Bud Light learn the basics of working, walking and serving each other. In about five more months, they hope to earn a service dog certification for Bud Light, giving him the right to go almost everywhere with Gauthier…” more

Animal Tales: Dogs serve those who served
Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal, Monday, August 3, 2015, by Lindsay Tice
LEWISTON — In a classroom at the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College, Dutchess pressed against Jesse Abrams’ side, a move that will be important when the 52-year-old Navy veteran needs help maintaining his balance. Amid the chaos of other dogs and strange people, she kept her focus on him, necessary to gauge his anxiety. She stuck close by her human, a habit that will help ease Abrams’ post-traumatic stress disorder when they’re out in the world.

Paws for Peace: Putting a Veteran’s Best Friend Within Financial Reach
MPBN News – MAR 6, 2015, by Jennifer Mitchell
LEWISTON, Maine – “It’s estimated that of the 2.7 million veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, at least 20 percent will face yet another battle, as they cope with the effects of post traumatic stress. For some, a connection to animals might bring relief. But with trained service animals costing tens of thousands of dollars, it’s not an option for many cash-strapped veterans, as the VA doesn’t pay for them. Now there’s a special class where veterans can learn to train their own service dogs….” more

Paws for Peace brings Promise
Times Record, Front Page, December 5, 2014, by Rosanna Gargiulo
HARPSWELL – “Promise, a five-week-old Mastiff, is slated to become a service dog for a Maine veteran living with symptoms of post-traumatic stress. Promise is one of the newest enrollees in the Harpswell-based nonprofit Embrace a Vet’s Paws for Peace program…” more

Restaurants give back for Veterans Day
The Forecaster, Monday, November 5, 2012
BRUNSWICK — “Six restaurants and pubs will donate a portion of their Veterans Day weekend sales to a fund that will help provide companion dogs to Maine military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injuries….” more

Star Turns For Pot Pie And Oyster Bar; Support For Vets
Eater – Tuesday, November 6, 2012, by Susan Axelrod
BRUNSWICK — “To honor Veterans Day (Nov. 11), six restaurants will donate a portion of this weekend’s sales to Paws for Peace, a new initiative of Harpswell-based Embrace a Vet that provides companion dogs to Maine vets with PTSD or traumatic brain injuries…” more

Retreat for veterans and families struggling with PTSD and traumatic brain injury
The Times Record – Friday, September 14, 2012

HARPSWELL — “Embrace A Vet and Cardinal Retreats will host Maine veterans who are living with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and/or Traumatic Brain Injury, and their significant others, at a week-long retreat opening Sept. 22….” more