Providing Service Dogs with Army Veteran Kevin Lambert

Kevin Lambert Veteran on the Move

Kevin Lambert currently works as the Program Development Administrator for NEADS, World Class Service Dogs. He was the first veteran NEADS provided a dog to for PTSD in 2009. Previous to his current role, Kevin worked as the Director of Special Populations Programs and Services for the MA Department of Veterans’ Services. Kevin is a combat veteran from the United States Army Infantry. He served with the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team out of Fairbanks Alaska and spent 16 months in IRAQ from August 2005-December 2006.

Kevin Lambert- Extended Experience

Kevin joined the United States Army and served from December 2004- December 2007.  He was based out of Fairbanks, Alaska and was infantry out of the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team.  Kevin was a despondent machine gunner and served in Mosul, Iraq August 2005-2006. They were then extended the day the were to fly home to Baghdad as the initial surge from August 2006-December 2006.

“Some of our guys and girls were already back home in Alaska. Some were in Kuwait, my company was one of the last with boots on the ground and that night or early the next morning set to fly out. It was one of the rumors we never heard that we were getting extended so it was quite the shock.” – Kevin Lambert

Transitioning Cultures

When Kevin returned home from war, they discovered that he had fractured his L-4 bilaterally in his spine so his service quickly came to an end.  He had just reenlisted for 4 years and no intentions of leaving the Army.  Kevin was able to transition into a veteran program that understood the military culture and the needs as veterans come home from war.

“I was very fortunate that I was coming back to Massachusetts, I had previously connected with our Secretary of Veteran Services in the state who was a Medal of Honor recipient from Vietnam, Thomas Kelly. Through our connection as I was getting out he encouraged me to apply for a job in one of the new programs the department was forming to help prevent suicide and getting a job like that was crucial to my transition.” – Kevin Lambert

NEADS World Class Dogs

Kevin was working for the MA Department of Veteran Services and through some of his outreach he had met with staff at NEADS.  It was one of the first organizations to provide service dogs at Walter Reid for some of the physically disabled and hearing impaired disabled veterans.  NEADS wanted to create a program for veterans returning from war with PTSD.

“They were training dogs to assist veteran with the PTSD symptoms; I was fortunate enough that they said if I wanted to participate in their research program we’d be happy to have you.  It was the right time, right place, said yes to the right thing. I ended up accepting the first dog that they gave to a veteran during the research program in July 2009.” – Kevin Lambert

To hear more from Kevin Lambert and how NEADS serves our military community with PTSD, download this episode.

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Kevin Lambert links:

NEADS World Class Service Dogs

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