Justin Lansford and Carol Balmes recently got married in Largo, Florida. They were high school sweethearts, and the ceremony was beautiful. But it was the best man – or should I say dog – who stood out from all the rest!
But there’s so much more to this story. Justin’s dog, Gabe, was cute as can be as Best Man at the wedding, but him being there is also symbolic of Justin’s military service, and the journey he’s been through.
Justin was an Army soldier deployed in Afghanistan when an IED struck his truck. The truck flipped over, ended up with Justin having to have his left leg amputated.
As he was recovering from surgery at Walter Reade Hospital, he was matched up with Gabe, a 2-year-old golden retriever, and his new service dog.
This was able to happen because of the Warrior Canine Connection project, which does amazing things and connects veterans with support dogs.
This dog has helped Justin tremendously, such as dealing with his PTSD, and tasks like helping him get up and down from the ground, and opening doors, and more.
Continue to next page for more pictures and the rest of the story…