Our Trainers

 

MARK HEIMKES

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMark has been training service dogs for veterans with PTSD and TBI for over three years.  After receiving his service dog, Logan, he quickly realized the benefits of having one.  Mark is able to relate to the veterans from his own experiences both in military service and from having a service dog. He has helped train over 80 PTSD/TBI service dogs and has witnessed the benefit these dogs bring to their handlers.

Mark is a certified evaluator for the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen Program and President of Battle Buddy Service Dogs

 

 

Sherri Settle2016-04-15_15.37.24

Sherri’s love for dogs is evident in the dedication she brings to the training program. She is a huge military supporter and is very proud of her son who is currently serving.

 

 

Abe Kyle

My name is Abe Kyle. I am married to Lorraine Kyle the Application Coordinator. I served in the Army for 23 years. I served in Operation Iraqi Freedom from December 2003 through June 2005 an Operation Enduring Freedom from February 2006 through March 2009 where I was injured by a rocket propelled grenade on August 8th, 2006. I learned about BBSD from Doctor Demark through the Kansas City Veterans Hospital. BBSD accepted my dog Buster and I into the program in June of 2016. Buster and I graduated in November 2016.

I never wanted to do anything before I got into the BBSD Program, the program has changed my life tremendously now I’m able to go out into society and try to enjoy life again rather than sitting around the house. I look forward to helping other veterans who have disabilities like I have to try to make them have purpose in their lives again.

 

 

David King

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ryan Smith

Ryan started working with and training dogs as a U.S Marine Dog Handler with III MEF (Marine Expeditionary Force) Kennels out of Okinawa, Japan in March 2014. After completing his Basic Handlers Course he went on to complete The Specialized Search Dog and Combat Tracker Dog Courses at Lackland, AFB in addition to two Advanced K9 courses at Yuma Proving Grounds, Arizona. After his end of tour in Okinawa, Ryan went on to Lackland, AFB to become the lead instructor for The Specialized Search Dog Course where he taught three all Marine classes before separating from The Marine Corps in April 2018. Ryan has been working with Battle Buddy Service Dogs since then.

 

 

 

Kevin Owens

My name is Kevin Owens, I am a Gulf War Combat Veteran diagnosed with PTSD and severe depression.  I first heard about BBSD from a friend while on a hunt in Iowa in November 2015.  My German Shepard Kloe and I were accepted in the program December 2015.  Kloe and I graduated successfully in June 2016.

Before BBSD, I did not leave the house, go to stores, events or much of anything. Battle Buddy Service Dogs has changed my life for the greater good and I look forward to helping other Veterans achieve this as I have.