To Be of Service

To Be of Service

Fri, 11/10/2023 - 10:00pm - 11:30pm

Phil Bauer and his service dog Champ.


Credit: Josh Aronson

A documentary about war veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) who are paired with a service dog to help them regain their lives.

These vets' experiences of returning home are often wrought with depression and a wrenching disconnect from the world they once inhabited. This film introduces viewers to several veterans and their service dogs, including veteran Phil Bauer of Canandaigua and his service dog Champ. To Be of Service airs Friday, November 10 at 10 p.m. on WXXI-TV.

Since the Vietnam war, the VA has worked to develop treatment programs for vets suffering from PTSD including therapy and medications, but as yet there is no universally effective protocol. The VA has engaged in a multi-year study into the use of service dogs for PTSD but they have not announced their conclusions and continue to deny funding them as a treatment for PTSD. It’s only through extraordinary personal effort and scholarship programs that thousands of vets have been paired with trained service dogs and the outcomes have been life changing. 

To Be of Service explores the remarkable life enhancements resulting from the introduction of trained service dogs into the lives of veterans with PTSD. A service dog helps them navigate their days more comfortably and independently, helps them sleep without night terrors and, over time, restores their ability to feel safe, to trust and to love. The unconditional love and support offered by these dogs become the bedrock for veterans to re-engage with the outside world and to learn to feel again.

This program is presented as part of Move to Include, a partnership between WXXI and the Golisano Foundation designed to promote inclusion for people with developmental, intellectual, and physical disabilities.