Justin Arnold lives in a very quiet world at his home in Falmouth, Maine. A 58-year-old
veteran of the United States Air Force, his close involvement with the most powerful
jet aircraft in the world has left him with a severe hearing loss.
"When someone speaks to me it's like writing a sentence of ten words and then erasing
five.", he said. He hears sounds, but not distinctly. Constant exposure to the roar
of jet engines has left him almost deaf. "It's an uneasy feeling because I don't
know what's going on around me.", Mr. Arnold said. He doesn't hear high-pitched
alarms, like smoke detectors, leaving him dangerously vulnerable.
Mr. Arnold sought the assistance of NEADS, a dog services assistance organization,
in West Boylston, Maine, which is supported by a grant from the Disabled American
Veterans (DAV) Charitable Service Trust. It was there he met Sandals, an Irish terrier
that now alerts him to what is going on.
The program provides hearing dogs to people with severe hearing loss. "The most
important thing Sandals does for me is she lets me know when the smoke detector
goes off", Mr. Arnold said. "She lets me know when the phone rings and when someone
is at the door."
Sandals was specially trained by NEADS with the aid of a grant from the DAV Charitable
Service Trust. Without her, Mr. Arnold would not hear emergency alarms that mean
the difference between danger and safety.
Hearing dogs do so much more than alert their owners. They help remove the isolation
caused by hearing loss.
Justin is an example of why the DAV Charitable Service Trust is needed and how it
succeeds in building better lives for America's veterans. "If you appreciate veterans",
Justin said, "the DAV Charitable Service Trust gives you the opportunity to say
'thank you' to veterans in a very meaningful way."