August 6, 2023

This week’s one hour radio broadcast begins as host Dale Throneberry welcomes Kirk Lanam, Veterans Service Dogs Organization, a non-profit organization that provides free service dogs and training. Our second segment includes Zach Harrison and Jessee Lee, with their Operation Song titled “THAT KID AGAIN”, and Chris Couture with “TATOOS and SCARS”.

FREE Veteran Service Dogs for Veterans

Veteran Service Dogs Organization Howell Michigan

We train the Veteran and the Dog together as a team. We do NOT hand out per-trained dogs to the Veteran and expect the Veteran to know how to properly handle the dog. We feel that the dog needs to work for the Veteran, not us. Therefore, the Veteran is involved in every step of the training process.

Once we find a suitable dog for the Veteran and their specific needs, the dog is sent home with the Veteran right away to begin the bonding process. The Veteran is then expected to come to training every week. We teach both the dog and the Veteran the obedience and tasks required to become a Service Animal.

While the obedience process is relatively uniform between dogs, the tasks are individually suited to the specific needs of each Veteran. Many Veterans may need the dogs to perform tasks designed to help with physical disabilities such as balance issues. Some Veterans may need to dogs to perform tasks designed to mitigate the symptoms of PTSD. Some Veterans may need the dogs to perform tasks designed to alert to an imminent seizure. However, not all Veterans have exactly the same disabilities or needs. Therefore, we design a training regiment that is tailored to the individual needs of each Veteran.

The dog and the training are provided to the Veteran for FREE. There are no fees to participate in the program. The Veteran is merely responsible for the care and maintenance of the dog.


Our mission is to provide Service Animals to US Military Veterans. Through the hard work, dedication, and passionate care of our trainers and providers, we train both the service animal and the Veteran.

The training of each dog is tailored to the Veteran in need. We train the dogs to assist with disabilities such as: PTSD, TBI, Panic Disorders, Physical Disabilities, Bipolar Disorder, Seizures, Diabetes, and many more.


We train service dogs for US military Veterans. There is no cost to the veteran other than their transportation to training (and the care of the dog in some cases). We rescue dogs from shelters, have puppies donated from litters, and on some occasions, take private surrenders. 

For more information:

Kirk Lanam, Founder and Executive Director at Veteran Service Dogs

I am the Founder and Executive Director at Veteran Service Dogs.

Kirk Lanam Veteran Service Dogs Founder

I am an Air Force Veteran, DS/OIF/OEF eras. I am the very proud father of 4 children, ages 31, 25, 24, and 21. I founded Veteran Service Dogs in 2008.

Operation Song Featuring Green Beret Zach Harrison and Jessee Lee

Operation Song® empowers veterans, active-duty military members, and their families to tell their stories through the process of songwriting. Those served need no musical or writing skills, only a willingness to share their stories and, with the help of professional songwriters, transform them into song.

For More Information about Operation Song

Zach was attending a Warriors Heart Retreat in February of 2023 when he was offered the opportunity to share his story with Operation Song artist Jessee Lee and photographer Chris Couture. This was an awesome experience for Zach and he appreciated the opportunity to participate in the retreat.

In 2020 Veterans Radio interviewed Tom Spooner, Co-Founder of Warriors Heart. Here is that interview.

Zach-H-Beret Afghanistan

Zach Harrison, Green Beret in Afghanistan

Warriors Heart Retreat Feb 2023

Warriors Heart Retreat
February 2023

Zach Equine TherapyZach’s Story

I enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2009 as an Airborne Infantryman and deployed to Afghanistan with the 173rd ABCT(A). I was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in 2011 while training to become an Army Special Forces Engineer Sergeant, more commonly known as a Green Beret. Throughout deployments to Afghanistan and the hardships that accompanied deployment, I began to struggle with combat-related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) along with residual symptoms from multiple micro and moderate Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs).

Due to being an active-duty Special Operator and the stigma accompanying seeking help, I began to seek relief from the symptoms associated with TBI & PTSD by drinking alcohol regularly. After a few years of seeking escape through alcohol, I realized I had a problem but was too deep in denial to see a way out despite interventions from family and friends.

I began to struggle with suicide. The struggles of everyday life became seemingly insurmountable, and I believed there was no way to recover. Despite having three amazing daughters and my love for them, I felt ending my life was in their best interest.

I planned a weekend vacation with my girls with the specific purpose of this being the best way to tell them goodbye. By God’s grace, He had other plans for this trip. Instead of a final goodbye, this turned into something much different. God provided this time for me to make amends with my oldest daughter and for Him to reveal to me my true identity, which is not based on my past poor choices but on the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross.

Through the help of a few close friends, I found my way into Counseling. After being discharged from the Army unexpectedly in July of 2022, I entered residential treatment for PTSD and Substance Abuse on 03 December 2022. In counseling I learned about the importance of dual diagnosis specifically for Special Operators. I re-gained traction in my life thanks to the support and encouragement from my counselors in treatment,

Thankfully Veteran Suicide awareness is being addressed more today than in the past; however, that awareness has not been enough to impact the current statistic of 22 Veterans who commit suicide each day. I’m grateful that by the grace of God, I didn’t add to that number. Unfortunately, that is not the case for one of my Infantry brothers, who took his life in February of 2022.

I completed 54 days of residential treatment, 60 days of intensive outpatient treatment, and six weeks of Magnetic Resonance Therapy (MeRT) at Warriors Heart. I have been sober for 243 days which is the longest I have abstained from drinking, outside of the five and a half months of my first combat deployment, since I was the age of 18. I have continued weekly telehealth appointments with my counselor.

Most importantly, my relationship with the Lord is returning to where it should have been my whole life.

I am actively pursuing my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and continuing towards a Masters Degree in Mental Health Counseling. I will support fellow combat veterans recover from the complications of their military service as it pertains to mental health and substance abuse.

THAT KID AGAIN – Written by the Zach Harrison and Songwriter Jessee Lee 

THAT KID AGAIN – MP3 Audio Track


That Kid Again


Lately I’ve been seeing clearer, that the man in the mirror has a lot of catching up to do 

I’ve had my own share of crazy, been a little sideways maybe but who I wanna be ain’t out of view 


I wanna be that kid again 

Free as a feather in the wind 

With my hands wrapped round a fishing pole 

Where days were good and life was slow 

I wish back then I woulda soaked the good stuff in 

Cause growin’ up ain’t what I thought it meant 

I wanna be that kid again 


The smell of coffee pourin’,

Church on Sunday morning, 

A little game of catch out in the yard 

Back when my eyes still had a sparkle, 

& I could dream about tomorrow, 

back before this jaded heart got hard 

Before the hurtin’

And the burdens 

Life will take it’s toll that’s for certain 


I wanna be that kid again

Free as a feather in the wind

With my hands wrapped round a fishing pole

Where days were good and life was slow

I wish back then I woulda soaked the good stuff in cause grown up ain’t what I thought it meant

I wanna be that kid again

& I think I see him just around the bend

I wanna be that kid again

Jessee Lee Music

Jessee Lee Music

Tatoos and Scars by Chris Couture“Tatoos and Scars” by Chris Couture

Note: Chris is an Operation Song photographer and former Army veteran. He took this photo of Zach’s hands while working at the Warrior’s Heart Retreat. Zach’s story and song stayed with Chris and this poem tells the story as he sees it on Zach’s hands.

“Tatoos and Scars”

I may look unapproachable,
With this ink I wear so precious.
I can see their minds are working,
Always the same old questions.
They wonder why I got them,
And I’m not disingenuous…….
Love is a four-letter word,
The same is true of pain.
Both have tried to kill me,
And drove me mildly insane.
A soldier has his medals,
And the night has her stars.
But all I have to show,
Is these tattoos and scars.

A player has his number,
And a singer has his songs.
A poet is full of stories,
The preacher has his psalms.
Dead men will tell no tales,
But their legacy lives on.
If you want to know about me,
You don’t have to look too hard.
It’s written in every line,
Of these tattoos and scars.

If you want to know about them,
They really hurt at the time.
You wonder how long they took,
Just the entirety of life.
Yes, you could safely say,
I wear my feelings on this sleeve.
There are those that are visible,
Only to the eyes of God and me.
So, a sergeant has his stripes,
And a captain has his bars.
I’ve earned every one of them,
These tattoos and scars.

You can find more works by Chris Couture on his photography website:

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