Editor’s Note: If you are a military veteran, age 65 and older, who is lonely or in need of assistance, contact Hero’s Bridge at (540) 341-5378. The office in Warrenton is staffed Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and you can leave a message at any time.

Hero’s Bridge

Hero’s Bridge is a non-profit organization founded in 2016 in Fauquier County, dedicated to serving older veterans in Fauquier, Rappahannock, and Culpeper counties. They are expanding their services this year to Madison and Orange counties.

The purpose of the organization is to provide direct care to reduce social isolation, improve substandard housing, and bridge older veterans to vital long-term resources and benefits. The website lists six programs that are offered at no cost to veterans and their families.

Paw Patrol

Who doesn’t love a dog? Who hasn’t hugged a dog? Who hasn’t told their troubles to a dog? Who doesn’t feel better after being in the presence of a calm, loving, dog?

That is what Paw Patrol is all about: bringing a dog on a visit to an older veteran. Just stroking a dog’s fur and speaking softly in the “how’re ya doing?” tone can reduce pain, heart rate, anxiety, and depression.

The Paw Patrol coordinator, Kayla Johnson, arranges for volunteers with pets (mostly dogs, but also currently one horse and one pig) to visit veterans at home or in assisted living or nursing care facilities.

Volunteers’ dogs can be either trained service dogs, certified therapy dogs, or just calm friendly pet dogs. As Hero’s Bridge receives referrals for veterans in Madison County, local volunteers will be needed as well. The Paw Patrol needs people with friendly dogs; contact the office or through the website. Read the full article on MadRapp.