Staunton veteran honored for continued service

Helyn Stowe and her service dog Astro
Helyn Stowe and her service dog Astro(WHSV)
Published: Sep. 19, 2021 at 8:06 PM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - Staunton veteran Helyn Stowe is being recognized by the VFW’s national #StillServing campaign, which highlights veterans who continue to serve their country and community after their military careers are over.

Stowe received the honor for her work creating and running the Queen City Rucking for 22 event, which raises money for the Specialist Trevor Banks foundation and provides resources to veterans battling PTSD.

The VFW recognized Stowe for giving back alongside her service dog Astro as September is National Service Dog month. Stowe said Astro helps her deal with her own PTSD and helped inspire her to help other veterans.

“When I received Astro shortly after getting medevacked out of Afghanistan, he’s a life saver. He is definitely a new lease on life. He allows me to create things and have a freedom,” said Stowe.

Stowe said Astro helped her get through her darkest points in her battle with PTSD, and she would have never been able to start the Queen City Rucking Event without him because he quite literally saved her life.

“I was ready to check out, and I sat on my couch with a loaded weapon and he kept bringing me his tennis ball, and I soon realized he was trying to tell me ‘hey mom, I got you’ he’s my battle bud, he’s my best friend,” said Stowe.

Soon after this happened Stowe decided she would focus on trying to help other veterans who were struggling like she was and eventually the Queen City Rucking Event was born.

Stowe says she is honored to be recognized by the VFW and hopes her story will inspire other veterans to reach out and get the help they need.

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