VIRGINIA — There are just a few days left to cast your vote for a dog who saved the life of an honored Marine.
Axel, a Virginia Military Service dog, has been nominated to win the American Humane Association’s “Hero Dog of the Year” award.
Captain Jason Haag served three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan as a Marine, where he received multiple awards, including the Purple Heart.
He was physically wounded overseas, but his toughest challenge was just on the horizon: coming home. Jason was diagnosed with PTSD, according to WUSA, and he had severe flashbacks and blackouts, violent outbursts and sleepless nights.
When he went to Veterans Affairs for help, he was given medication, medication that would be the beginning of a very dark period for Jason. At one point, he was on 32 medications, 12 of them were narcotics, according to WUSA.
Haag told reporters that he didn’t care if he lived or died and he began to isolate away from his loving wife and children.
His neighbor, also a veteran who suffered from PTSD, told Haag a service dog had helped save him.
When Haag met Axel, the German shepherd was two days away from being euthanized. Both man and dog have gone from near death, to a bond that reflects the joy they share in being together.
Haag said he hopes to save more veterans also lost in the system; who “have been forgotten about, discarded, or are addicted to medication and alcohol.”
Haag wants there to be more success stories like his and Axel’s, but to do that – they need donations. If Axel wins Hero Dog of the Year, the donation and spotlight could help create more relationships just like theirs, and save more lives.
“It would mean a lot. I mean, he is my hero,” says Jason. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him. He saved my life, he saved my family’s life.”
To vote for Axel, CLICK HERE.
You can vote until Sept. 7 at 12 p.m.
For more information about Jason and Axel, CLICK HERE.