Veteran held up at Lubbock airport over issue with service dog - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Veteran held up at Lubbock airport over issue with service dog

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Everyone's trying to make it home for the holidays, but one veteran at the Lubbock Preston Smith Airport had to put her plans on hold.

Zondra Perkins battles PTSD and leans on her furry friend Sergeant Ski to overcome the symptoms.

The pair has been together for seven months and are now inseparable, so the idea of traveling without her pal was overwhelming.

"He's my best friend in the whole world," Perkins said. " He listens to me when nobody else will. He's there for me. He means the world to me."

Perkins was able to board flights at airports in South Carolina and Dallas on her way to visit a friend in Lubbock, but was held up after not providing proper documentation for the service animal.

According to American Airlines, all airlines are required to follow the same protocol for checking service animals provided by the Department of Transportation.

For emotional distress service animals, the documentation must include a letter signed by a licensed medical professional stating that the patient deals with emotional distress.

Perkins' service dog was given to her through the non-profit organization Patriot Rovers.

Sergeant Ski is trained to help his owner overcome feelings of depression and anxiety associated with PTSD.

"When I get upset or angry he calms me down, he wakes me up from night terrors and helps me get through flashbacks."

Fortunately, the VA was able to help Perkins rush her paperwork and American Airlines made an exception, so this veteran and her furry friend will soon be on their way home.

The link below spells out the requirements for traveling with service dogs.

http://www.aa.com/i18n/travelInformation/specialAssistance/serviceAnimals.jsp

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