US Army Specialist Jeff Erxleben & Diesel

Specialist Jeffrey Erxleben, US Army, 11B. I went to basic at Fort Benning, GA 2010. Then was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, NY. I was a part of 1-32 Alpha Company. We deployed to Afghanistan in 2011-2012. As an Infantryman I had many jobs as we all did. My weapon was the saw/249. I loved what I did. I got out in 2013 unfortunately.

I met DFOB in 2021 in North Carolina for a 10 year reunion from deployment sponsored by the Independence Fund. I was on a cane due to having two total hip replacement surgeries. I met Paul, he said they are located in St. Louis, MO. I said super so am I about 20 minutes away. I trained with my dog behind the scenes, not everyone gets the chance to do that. Eventually, I got Diesel, my service dog. He is my best friend, he has helped me on so many occasions. Exercise, talking, depression even helping me up with a few seizures I have from time to time.

I got very lucky to have made that trip even though DFOB is so close I never heard about them. They genuinely care about the veterans and the dogs. No one wants to be left behind.


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