EYEWITNESS NEWS(WBRE/WYOU)— The story of a veteran’s return from battle, and the tough transition back to civilian life.

It took a four-legged friend to turn his life around and go in a direction he never expected. Ryan Woodruff is in a really good spot in life a terrific family and a good buddy named Chase.

But getting there wasn’t easy. During a 4-year-stint as a Marine in Iraq, his unit was hit with explosive devices every day. The constant high level of stress and not knowing “what’s next” took its toll. Coming home came with more questions than answers.

“You get out and it’s expected that you just go to college, get a job, fit in with society. I was just wondering. I felt like I was in a desert trying to figure out what I was supposed to do with my life” stated Woodruff.

Seven years later an answer in the form of an adorable canine, Chase, Woodruff’s service dog.

Woodruff went from “having” a service dog, to leading the Clear Path Canine Program, a nationally recognized rigorous two-year program, training dogs to help veterans battling PTSD.

One of the adorable graduates is Granger and he’s been life-changing for Mike Todd.

“We are best friends aren’t we Granger? Look at me. We’re best friends,” said Mike Todd a Vietnam Veteran.

Todd spent 26 months in Vietnam. He went years without any signs of PTSD, but once he retired, he lost his routine and the memories of wartime became vivid.

“He’s such a help to me. I feel free. He knows ahead of time that I’m going to have an issue. He senses when I’m going to have a, not a panic attack, but an anxiety moment. He’ll lick my face and jump on me and that just brings me right back out of it,” explained Todd

If you have a story idea for us at Veterans Voices shoot an email to Nick Toma at ntoma@pahomepage.com.