South Charlotte dog training center getting results for wounded Veterans

Image 1 of 8

Photo via The Dog Knowledge

A dog training center in south Charlotte is getting results for veterans wounded in war.

If anyone has seen the horrors of war, it's this man, retired Marine Corps First Sergeant Marcus Wilson.

"We drove over the IED completely destroyed the vehicle killed everyone inside," Marcus said.

Except Marcus, he was the only survivor. The memory of his fellow fallen marines is what keeps him going.
"I just want to be able to look down and see those names and knowing why I'm living and why I'm continuing to live," Marcus said.

The road to recovery is on-going, it's been ten years since Marcus was injured in Iraq. The mental and physical wounds hard to bear. But easier when you have a constant companion.

"I feel like he's a member of my family, I was talking to my wife, and I told her I feel like we're here to pick up one of my members of my family," Marcus said.

The Dog Knowledge, a Charlotte group that trains service dogs is getting results for Marcus and a  soldier, retired Sergeant Gregory Hedrick, who lost his leg and part of his hand when he was attacked in combat in Afghanistan about four years ago.

"He hears my voice raising, he'll get up on me, in my space, try to calm me down and that's big too," Hedrick said.

Gregory was paired with his new service dog Trusty and Wally gets to go home with Marcus.

Both men have been waiting 2 years to get a service dog that can help them with everyday tasks like opening doors, picking up things they drop and giving them emotional support.

Training for the dogs can start as young as 8 weeks and then when they're about 14-18 months is when they go into service.

"I'm still learning, he's teaching me. After getting here and being around him, I've seen how much I've changed for the better," Marcus said.

Men living with the wounds of war, finding comfort in new comrades to walk alongside them.