The veteran went through PTSD after returning from the Iraq war and said, "If it wasn’t for her showing me that it’s okay to be in society, I probably wouldn’t be here today."
After returning home from the frontlines, army veteran Justin Tucker only found solace from PTSD after Roxy the pit bull became a part of his life in 2014.
Having suffered severe issues with PTSD, Tucker described his time after coming back from the war as "a dark, downward spiral of depression."
"It's hard to speak of the issues and not be emotional about it," the army veteran previously told WLOS ABC 13. "My worst incident was a hand grenade explosion that blew up down onto my shoulder. The recurring nightmares and the intrusive thoughts; it plays a toll on your mind."
Things began to change after Tucker was introduced to Roxy, his PTSD service dog who made life so much easier for the army veteran.
"Roxy has been tasked trained to indicate on my anxiety, so she can help alert me before the PTSD gets to out of control. She helps provide a distraction, so I can concentrate on something else besides the PTSD. She helps me on a daily basis with simple life tasks. If it wasn’t for her showing me that it’s okay to be in society, I probably wouldn’t be here today," Tucker shared with the American Humane Hero Dog Awards.
In 2018, Roxy was the finalist for the American Humane Hero Dog Awards and has not only given emotional support to Tucker, but also shared joy with her fans on social media.
"She's literally touched the lives of thousands of people worldwide," Tucker told WLOS ABC 13. "I never would have thought my service dog from Haywood County, North Carolina, would make a big global impact as she has."
Even the people that have met Roxy while she was out on the streets with Tucker were also able to see what a lovely dog she was. "Cause most people see a pit bull in the news it's a ferocious, aggressive animal," shared Tucker. "But when they meet Roxy, they have to ask, 'What kind of dog is that?'"
Roxy was able to help Tucker when he was at his lowest, but after the beloved pet was diagnosed with cancer in August, she was the one who needed the support. It was decided that Roxy would be euthanized, and on Friday, December 18, she "crossed over the rainbow bridge," Tucker wrote on Instagram.
"Roxy was my entire world," shared the army veteran, as quoted by WLOS ABC 13. "From leaving active duty Army and becoming a civilian, she helped with my transition. She helped me so much with my PTSD issues, better than any pharmaceutical could ever could. She was a true hero and breed ambassador. She was everything that the bully breeds could be, with a little bit of dedication to training."
Although Tucker is heartbroken over the loss, he is glad she was able to leave behind a legacy and said, "She will always be remembered on social media but through other ways as well. Haywood Spay and Neuter has the Roxy Fund, which is dedicated to helping low-income veterans in Haywood County -- to help assist with spay, neuter and microchipping (their pets)."