Iraq War Vet Can Keep His Ducks For Help With PTSD, Local City Council Says

news
Iraq war veteran Darin Welker, holds one of his ducks at his home in West Lafayette, Ohio.
Associated Press photo via Coshocton Tribune

There’s good news for an Army veteran in West Lafayette, Ohio, who’d been told his unique approach to treating his post-traumatic stress disorder — a result of his 2005 military service in Iraq — by raising and caring for ducks just wouldn’t fly.


On July 18, Darin Welker appealed to the West Lafayette city council to keep his six therapy ducks, having afoul of a city ordinance barring farm animals back in 2014, which resulted in a misdemeanor conviction, according to the Coshocton Tribune. The city council granted the Army veteran a variance, which allows him to keep the animals.

Welker, who was medically discharged from the Ohio National Guard, argued that his ducks have been therapeutic, and he produced a letter from his doctor backing him up.

In a letter to the council, Welker’s physician Dr. Thomas Hanf (certainly no quack) said that “Welker had made great strides over the past five years on his physical pains, but the post-traumatic stress disorder from serving in Iraq in 2005 had been harder to deal with, and that the progress Welker had made with the ducks encouraged him,” writes the Tribune. Welker also provided seven signed letters from his neighbors stating they had no issue with the animals.

Related: The Incredible Bond Between A Group Of Combat Vets And Wild Wolves »

Welker says that in addition to helping him cope with post-traumatic stress, raising the ducks is a form of therapy for a back injury. He said in 2014 that although the Department of Veteran Affairs covered his back surgery in 2012, he didn’t receive mental or physical therapy, so he turned to his feathered friends for help.

“Taking care of them is both mental and physical therapy,” Welker told the Associated Press. “[Watching them] keeps you entertained for hours at a time.”

WATCH NEXT:

(Associated Press/Tom Williams)

Ronny Jackson, the former White House physician and retired Navy rear admiral who had a short run as the nominee for the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2018, now plans to run for a seat in Congress.

Read More Show Less

The Pentagon will implement an "operational pause" on the training of foreign students inside the United States as the military undergoes a review of screening procedures, according to senior defense officials.

Read More Show Less
In this Nov 24, 2009, file photo, a University of Phoenix billboard is shown in Chandler, Ariz. The University of Phoenix for-profit college and its parent company will pay $50 million and cancel $141 million in student debt to settle allegations of deceptive advertisement brought by the Federal Trade Commission. (AP Photo/Matt York)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The University of Phoenix, which is owned by Apollo Education Group, has agreed to pay $191 million to settle charges that it falsely advertised close ties with major U.S. companies that could lead to jobs for students, the Federal Trade Commission said on Tuesday.

The University of Phoenix will pay $50 million to the FTC to return to consumers and cancel $141 million in student debt.

Some of the advertisements targeted military and Hispanic students, the FTC said.

Read More Show Less
Shane Reynolds, UCF Research Associate demonstrates an AR/VR system to train soldiers and Marines on how to improve their ability to detect improvised explosive devices. (Orlando Sentinel/Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda)

As UCF research associate Shane Reynolds guides his avatar over a virtual minefield using his iPad, small beeps and whistles reveal the location of the scourge of the modern war zone: Improvised Explosive Devices, or IEDs. He must take his time to sweep every last inch of the playing field to make sure his character doesn't miss any of the often-deadly bombs.

Despite his slow pace, Reynolds makes a small misstep and with a kaboom! a bomb blows up his player, graphically scattering body parts.

Read More Show Less
US Navy

The Navy has posthumously awarded aviator and aircrewman wings to three sailors killed in last week's shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola.

"The selfless acts of heroism displayed by these young Sailors the morning of Dec. 6 are nothing short of incredible," Chief of Naval Air Training Rear Adm. Daniel Dwyer said in a statement.

Read More Show Less