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Iraq War Vet Can Keep His Ducks For Help With PTSD, Local City Council Says
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.
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.”
The Pentagon has identified the two soldiers were killed in combat in Afghanistan on Wednesday as members of U.S. Army Special Forces.
Master Sgt. Luis F. DeLeon-Figueroa, 31, and Master Sgt. Jose J. Gonzalez, 35, both died in Faryab Province from wounds sustained from small arms fire, the Pentagon said in a press release. The incident is under investigation.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted on Thursday of possible Israeli involvement in attacks against Iranian-linked targets in Iraq.
A series of blasts in the past few weeks have hit weapon depots and bases belonging to paramilitary groups in Iraq, many of them backed by Israel's regional foe Iran. The groups blamed the United States and Israel for the blasts on Wednesday.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that will make it easier for permanently disabled veterans to have their student loan debt forgiven.
Physical fitness tests were briefly suspended earlier this week and outdoor cardio testing will be curtailed for the remainder of the summer at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, after an airman died Saturday. She had completed her PT test on Friday.
Navy Secretary Richard Spencer has expanded a review of the Judge Advocate General Corps to include the Marine Corps, a Navy spokesman said on Thursday.
"There is value in applying this review and its subsequent recommendations across the Department of the Navy," Cmdr. Jereal Dorsey told Task & Purpose. "The review's purpose is to confirm the uniformed legal community is structurally and organizationally sound and best supporting the good order and discipline our integrated naval force."