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Army vet Montalván brings PTSD talk to Berlin high school

(Sept. 10, 2015) Raising awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder and invisible disabilities are the focus of a program U.S. Army veteran Capt. Luis Montalván and his service dog, Tuesday, will present at Stephen Decatur High School in Berlin, Saturday, Sept. 12 at 1 p.m.
“Millions of veterans in all eras of war suffer with post-traumatic stress disorder and civilians suffer from psychological and invisible disabilities,” Montalván said. “It is a topic very relevant right now.”
Tuesday will accompany Montalván when he shares his story about struggles with invisible disabilities associated with post-traumatic stress disorder and brain injury.
“Besides the fact that he is a highly-trained service dog, who migrates my physical and psychological disabilities, he is an inspiration to millions around the world,” Montalván said.
Montalván’s story caught the attention of an Atlantic General Hospital committee member and staff wanted to provide a service for veterans and others who are underserved in the community, said Dawn Denton, community education manager for the hospital, who oversees a group of more than 20 health specialists and community agency representatives responsible for helping to plan and implement community education programs.
“We know that behavioral health (especially PTSD) is related to many of the healthcare issues in our community,” Denton added. “On the heels of 9/11, our thoughts will be on those who serve our country and all that they sacrifice.”
The 17-year veteran of the United States Army completed multiple combat tours in Iraq, received two Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart.
Montalván narrowly escaped with his life during a knife attack in the Middle East causing a severe concussion in 2003 which lead to a traumatic brain injury, and on his second tour he witnessed still-smoldering remains of an Iraqi bomber.
After returning home, he was haunted by war, in constant physical pain and ended up isolating himself from loved ones.
Montalván, who lives in New York, found his salvation in Tuesday, a golden retriever, who had been trained to assist the disabled and worked among prisoners and at a home for troubled boys.
They met in 2008 at a service dog organization near New York City and Montalván soon realized “Tuesday endured trauma of his own.”
His unique training and sensitivity made it hard for Tuesday to trust or connect with humans until he met Montalván.
Tuesday can turn on a light, open doors, sense the onset of anxiety and flashbacks.
“We aren’t just service dog and master; Tuesday and I are also best friends, kindred souls, whatever you want to call it,” Montalván said on “We weren’t made for each other, but we turned out to be exactly what the other needed.”
Montalván became a New York Times best-selling author three years in a row with “Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him.”
In 2014, he published a children’s book, “Tuesday Tucks Me In, The Loyal Bond between a Solider and his Service Dog.”
The book takes readers through a typical day in the life of best friends starting with Tuesday waking Montalván up to reminding him it’s time to take his medicine while the veteran reciprocates with trips to the park, wiping his paws and brushing Tuesday’s teeth.
Montalván wants readers to acquire a “better understanding of trauma and healing from trauma” after reading his books.
There will be a book signing after Montalván’s hour-long presentation on Saturday from 2-2:30 p.m. All events will take place in the Stephen Decatur High School auditorium on Seahawk Road in Berlin beginning at 1 p.m.
Visit and to learn more about Montalván’s books.