Helyn, U.S Army

November 2013 Class

Age: 42                                                     Years in Service:     13 Years        Rank: E5

Served in:  Afghanistan, Desert Storm

My Family:

I grew up in Port Richey, Florida.

My Career:  

I served thirteen years in the U.S. Army where I deployed to Desert Storm and completed two deployments to Afghanistan.  During my career, I served in ammunition supply, helicopter supply and performed duties as a Female Engagement Team (FET) leader.  I am very proud of the things I did in the Army.  Hopefully I was able to make a positive impact on those I came in contact with.  I sacrificed a lot to serve my country and would hate to think it was in vain.


It is not your fault!  It affects your entire family and is something you have to work on day by day.  My TBI causes headaches and lack of balance when I use stairs and my thought process simply isn’t as fast as it used to be.  My new service dog Astro will be the key to my initial recovery.  He will help me in large crowds and lower my anxiety in tough situations.  Astro will always be there for me and will never leave my side and I am looking forward to the doors this could open up for me as I learn to bond and work with a service dog.  Don’t give up.

Looking forward to:  

Once I am medically retired, and my husband is retired from active duty, we will move forward with our lives on our forty acre farm in New York.  I am looking forward to taking farming courses through Cornell and by next summer hope to have my veggie cart stocked to sell and set up at Farmer’s Markets.  I would like to eventually add chickens, goats and maybe even a food truck in five years.

About Astro:

Astro is a 2 year old male chocolate lab.  He was picked up by Animal Control as a stray and was found at the Jacksonville Adoptathon.  He is a very smart and food motivated dog who loves to learn.  He has no vices that we've seen so far and is progressing quickly through training. 

Team Updates

Embedded thumbnail for Helyn's Interview Part Two
Helyn is grateful that she had her seventeen year old daughter after she returned home. She said "without her the darkness in my life probably would have closed". Helyn also talks about the program and what she thought of her overall experience living there for three weeks.Read More >>
Embedded thumbnail for Helyn's Interview Part One
Helyn talks about what makes Astro special to her. She shares a few of her goals/plans she hopes to fufill when she returns home to a normal life with her new friend. Helyn is very anxious to see how Astro will react to his new environment on the farm with the chickens!Read More >>
Helyn, Astro, Heather and Josh take one last group shot before they head their separate ways and go home. It was a life changing experience and are very grateful to have been given the opportunity to receive such beautiful and amazing dogs.Read More >>
Embedded thumbnail for Astro Goes to St Augustine with Mom
Astro and Helyn take a field trip to St Augustine. A lot of this day consists of having fun and exploring this old city but they still have to work at the same time. Astro and Helyn practice going down the stairs at the same pace.Read More >>
Embedded thumbnail for Fear of the Cart
Helyn takes Astro to Home Depot where the class has a training session. Astro's biggest battle was the cart being pushed around. He did not understand what it was but quickly pushed through his fear and got back in his work mode.Read More >>
Embedded thumbnail for Astro Goes to the Park
Helyn and Astro work on basic obedience skills at the park. Astro practices long distance calls, block, cover and side. He likes to jump into all of his positions because he gets over excited! Astro has a lot of energy for such a small little guy.Read More >>
Embedded thumbnail for Basic Obedience with Astro
Today Helyn and Astro worked on basic obedience at the mall. Astro learned how to walk up the stairs at his handlers pace as well side and block. Astro was a little hesitant when getting into his positions today due to all of the destractions but overall made his mom very proud!Read More >>
Embedded thumbnail for Helyn Meets Astro
Helyn was ecstatic when she saw that Astro was going to be not only her new dog but life long friend! Astro is a very sweet and loving dog and will be a perfect match for Helyn's personality.Read More >>