Kenny Bass vividly remembers being hit by an IED. The deafening blast. The stunning force. The swell of dust. A young Marine Corps combat infantryman serving in the Iraq War, Kenny was conducting a counter-ambush patrol when a roadside bomb wounded him physically and mentally. After two tours, Kenny was declared 100 percent disabled by age 23, but he would feel the effects of that blast for years to come. Because of this injury he formed the non-profit The Battle Buddy Foundation.
In 2013, Joshua and Kenny founded The Battle Buddy Foundation; today, the non-profit provides highly trained psychiatric and mobility service dogs to veterans of all eras who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, and physical limitations – at no cost. In addition to providing service dogs, the foundation acts as a resource network, awareness program and community.
For Kenny, Altas and the foundation have turned maddening pain into purpose.
“I’m not anything special,” Kenny said. “I struggled for a long time – just like anyone else. I thought all that pain was just that. But all that pain you walk away with, you can find value in the pain and use it. We have to fix the way we handle reintegration, and who better to fix it than us?”