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Congratulations To Ian And Clark

Ian is a medically retired Army Staff Sergeant who just graduated from Freedom Service Dogs with his service dog,  Clark. Ian was injured in December 2006 while his unit was patrolling an area in Adhamiyah – in northeast Baghdad. An insurgent threw a hand grenade into the Humvee that Ian and four other soldiers were riding in. The 19-year-old gunner on board first tried to deflect the grenade, but it fell inside the vehicle. When he saw no one was going to be able to get out in time, he used his body to shield the others from the deadly blast. He was killed instantly. The others survived. Ian was the most severely injured of the four soldiers who lived. He suffers from mild traumatic brain injury, shrapnel wounds to face, both arms, right hip, both legs and right knee. The injuries have left him with severe mobility problems. Ian does not want to rely on a wheelchair or cane, so Clark is trained to assist in keeping Ian moving and avoid falling like tree.

Ian is married with two daughters, is a full-time student, and holds down a job with a major real estate firm. He says Clark enables him to be more willing to do things. When asked how Clark has changed his life, Ian said, “Positively! I feel like I can do more of things I did before I was injured.”