Up to one-fifth of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from post-traumatic stress, and, tragically, because of PTSD, nearly 22 veterans commit suicide every day. When Shari Duval saw the symptoms of PTSD in her son, Brett, a civilian K9 police bomb dog handler who served in Iraq, she found a new mission in life. She put all her time and resources into helping restore the life of her son and the lives of returning combat veterans who had sacrificed so much for our freedom. She founded K9s For Warriors, a unique program providing highly trained service dogs for disabled veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disability and traumatic brain injury. To date, hundreds of veterans have received dogs and a new lease on life. Duval’s story is one of love and commitment: a mother’s love for her son, and a citizen’s commitment to the mission of respecting, honoring and saving the lives of combat veterans.
A mother and grandmother, Shari Duval held many positions in her life, including owning her own businesses and fundraising for numerous nonprofits and various veteran causes. In 2010, Duval founded K9s For Warriors as a way to help her son Brett, who had served two tours in Iraq as a civilian dog bomb handler, cope with the scars of war. Today, K9s For Warriors is the largest and most successful service dog agency in the United States for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury. In 2017, Duval’s accomplishments were recognized when she received the Pearls of Leadership EVE Award. Her husband is a professional golfer retired from the Champions Tour, and his son David is a member of the PGA Tour, and currently a broadcaster for the Golf Channel. They had four children between them and 11 grandchildren. Shari Duval passed in 2020.