Lowe’s Store Hires Veteran with PTSD and His Service Dog

Lowe’s Home Improvement in Spartanburg, South Carolina has two new employees: one with two legs and one with four legs. Thanks to a program by Service Dogs for Veterans, an Upstate veteran suffering from PTSD now has the chance for a normal life.

Tony Swett served for a year in Bosnia and a year in Afghanistan. When he returned home his life was restricted by the devastating symptoms of PTSD. One of those symptoms is isolation.

In an interview with Fox Carolina News, Tony describes his life during his service to his country and how things have changed since Cooper came into his life

“There are certain things in life a person’s not supposed to see. I was afraid to go into places, fireworks, stuff like that. I’m not ashamed to say I have PTSD. With Cooper right here beside me, I feel safe.”

Cooper started out as a family pet. In the beginning, the two didn’t even get along because Tony didn’t realize Cooper was around to help him. Now Cooper helps Tony perform his job, which he says he wouldn’t have applied for if Cooper couldn’t work with him. Tony had heard about another dog in Texas being hired by Lowe’s in December 2016, and he and his wife decided to pursue the job at the Blackstock Road location.

Cooper poses for a photo (Fox Carolina screenshot)

Many veterans struggle with simple things like getting out of the house. Customers at the Spartanburg Lowe’s really love it when they see Tony and Cooper working together. It took training to get Cooper certified as a service dog. He and Tony are a team, both at work and off the clock. Tony refers to Cooper as his “battle buddy” and Cooper wears his service dog vest while on the job.

Hiring combat veterans and their service dogs is a ground-breaking project for the Lowe’s Home Improvement chain. The Spartanburg community is proud to be a part of the project and Tony now sees a bright future ahead of him, thanks to Cooper. He calls his place of employment “a guy’s Chucky Cheese.”

Part of his future plans is to promote service dogs being allowed to work with the veterans they’re trained to help.

A video of Tony and Cooper at work can be found here.

Elisa Taylor

Elisa's articles have helped save thousands of the shelter pets she writes about, along with animal welfare and cruelty case articles which are published on Pictures-of-cats.org as well as her personal website at Nationalcatexaminer.com (National Cat Reporter). Elisa lives with her daughter and a multitude of cats (including one cat­-dog named Cujo). As a writing "addict" Elisa enjoys sharing interesting stories with other animal lovers.

6 comments

  1. Mark Goodman says:

    As a business owner and An American this is beautiful and heart warming.
    Good job
    Thank You Lowes!

  2. Terry Crowell Kindley says:

    Thanks for sharing this with us. I knew I liked Lowes for some reason. What a great support for our vets!

  3. Pamela Kramer says:

    Makes me want to shop at Lowes instead of other competitors!!

  4. L.M. - Atlanta says:

    Thank you Lowes Corporation for supporting Veterans, and specifically for hiring Tony Swett and Cooper. Your organization is a wonderful role model for other major corporations..

  5. Elaine Whinston says:

    What a wonderful story this is! I’m a dog lover and our veterans deserve so much respect and whatever help makes their lives easier. Thanh you, Lowes, for accommodating Tony in this way!

  6. Sally says:

    What a great idea. I did not know Lowes was doing this. Makes me want to shop there to support them. **
    I would not want to live in a world without animals. Cooper knew Tony Swett needed some help. What a loving intelligent dog, willing and wanting to help. This is a feel-good story all the way around. Tony Swett received the help he needed, Cooper gets to help as is natural to him. A Big Thank You to Lowes for helping a Vet.

Add a comment

(Your email will not be displayed.)