Service dogs can be trained to retrieve items for the veteran, turn lights on and off, alert the veteran to a ringing phone or doorbell, act as a platform for balance, and walk beside a wheelchair. Dogs can also be taught to provide a barrier between the veteran and anyone who approaches (to ensure a comfortable physical space) and check around corners and assure the veteran that the space is “clear”.
The combination of physical and mental/emotional support that the dog provides 24 hours a day can help the veteran return to work, school, family, and public life. The presence of a dog with the veteran is often helpful in encouraging conversation and social contact and reducing isolation.
Workingservicedog.com offers a service dog patch specifically for the service dog working to alleviate symptoms of PTSD.
Several training schools exist specifically for training service dogs to assist veterans, links to some are below.