FBI begins "Wounded Warrior" program
CENTER CITY - January 31, 2012 (WPVI) -- A dog at FBI headquarters is not the most peculiar sight, but this particular one in the above photo is.
This dog belongs to Sgt. William Pagan. Sgt. Pagan is one of the first interns chosen for the FBI's pilot program "Wounded Warrior."
It's designed to help soldiers injured overseas find new, potential career paths and a new purpose.
The yellow lab he calls Oprah is helping with something else.
"I was diagnosed with PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder," Sgt. Pagan said.
After crushing his lower spine during a mission in Iraq , Pagan had to grapple with losing his ability to run, and stand for long periods of time.
To help with the psychological toll, he found Puppies Behind Bars.
"They get trained since they're 8-weeks old in different correctional facilities around the United States," Pagan said.
Only 20 specially trained dogs, like Oprah, are offered each year.
Pagan was lucky enough to get the same exact dog Oprah Winfrey sponsored for the program, hence the name.
Special Agent in Charge, George Venizelos, says having this program is allowing them to give back to those who have given up the most.
"We can't forget these warriors that go around and get wounded in the line of duty; we need to help them get back on their feet," Venizelos said.
For Pagan, this means a job, a best friend, and newfound hope.
philadelphia, pennsylvania, local/state, shirleen allicot
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