Meet Ace, a U.S. Retired Army Infantry soldier, who was called to duty at the age of 28 in the fight against terrorism. Josue “Ace” Acevedo served in Iraq as an infantryman and gunner. Front line, ready for action, protect America, save lives – that’s ACE. Ace proudly served his country for five years, but after being forced to retire, he was left with scars from which he thought he would never recover. It was a tragic day in battle for Ace when his shoulder and back were severely injured in a Hum-V accident. Ace now lives with a severe spinal cord injury and the invisible wounds of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and PTSD. “It was Blip that brought me to ECAD, but Aries gives me purpose again,” Ace said with a smile on his face. Visiting the VA in the Bronx, Ace was discovered by Blip, our resident golden retriever Therapy Dog who has a gift for zeroing in on the person in need of a little extra love and support.
Today, Aries’ proudly serves Ace with leash in mouth standing at the door, telling Ace it is time for them to go out. This specially educated dog reminds Ace to take his medications, which are at significantly lower dosages now. Aries helps to reduce Ace’s back and shoulder pain by picking up dropped objects. In fact, Ace and Aries are on the go all the time now, as good-will ambassadors for ECAD and Project HEAL, as well as advocates for other veterans who are in need of help.