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Lissa Hall

Per John request a little more about me and Winde

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I am not really to good about delving into this stuff but here goes. I was as I said in the Us Army once I got out honorable discharge. I continued with the same job field in the Army i was a combat Medic who was also crossed trained as national registry EMT. I later became a paramedic. I remained in this field for for 24 years.

Few people really know the harshness and brutality of such a job. so I will give a bit of insight. The year before I was medically retired at least four emergency service workers committed suicide. The mental work span for someone in these jobs is 4-7 years before mental break down occurs. ( at least for Paramedic)  a couple years before that we lost one cop and three firefighter on different scenes. In the my career these are the injuries and surgeries received. 3 fractures ribs, 2 ankle surgeries, shoulder surgery due to separated shoulder and fractured clavicle, knee surgery. I was told once buy a othro Doc who used to work for Carolina panthers that I had more fractures in total than professional football player. Anyway in 2011 I was medical Retired because I had my breakdown. I was on a call where we had a code , everything started out fine but my partner was new I assume she got scared and ran out of house not to return till after call was done. During which time the patients son became Irate and I suppose afraid I would do the same. He trapped me in the room and was physically aggressive which cause me to go back to othro due to straining the already repaired ankle. The man threatened my life several times and I believed him. It was a bit before the cops were able to get there. After this call I was not the same. I have been diagnosed with PTSD, depression and agoraphobia (fear of crowds and building). which basically makes me a recluse.

I found Paws4vets and they accepted me as a client. Before Winde I rarely went anywhere and if I did I had to go with someone I trusted. With WInde now I can go places without help granted Not many but at least I can do it some what. I usually can go grocery store as long as it it not busy or to small stores.This may not sound like much but compared to not being able to go anywhere is is huge difference for me.

WInde has also been trained to turn on lights, pick up objects and can even get stuff and put it in a cart, ( though I do not need this yet Medical Docs think I will in time given all the surgeries.) She will also turn on a light then wake me up if I am having a night terror so that there is a light on when she wakes me up. She also helps me with sleep walking. when my son was here I almost burnt the house down 3 different occasions while walking in my sleep. she will act as a soft barrier preventing me from getting to far unless I let her know I am awake..

Though I am far from the person I was I am trying to get back some of what I was. During this time my Uncle who is a Vietnam Vet was the first of my family to show support. He took me into his woodworking shop and put me onto a scroll saw. Paws4vets is the best thing that happened to me. because of them I can at least be self sufficient, The organization normally uses golden retrievers and labs. but they also do on occasion recuse shelter dogs and train them so they can be used or at least more adoptable. The dogs as puppies once weened will go to different prison systems where inmates train them till one year of age. ( these  inmates once release per statistic do not return to jail) Many of them will find jobs doing the same thing or helping others. Once the dogs are done there they go to UNCW to be trained by college students for another year then they go to their handlers/ clients. Paws4vets train service, therapy and rehab dogs. The clients are not expected to pay any monetary fees but they are asked to "pay it forward" in a role they can handle. For me since I have problems with public they asked that I do woodworking for them Which I have just started). I have made steps for the dogs and some intarsia for them to sale at their thrift store and proceeds go back to organization.

SO there you go. I hate sharing this much about myself as I am not proud what happened and really wish I could make it go away but I can not the only thing I can do is hope when you read this you do not see me a a weakling and know that everyday is a fight for me. I also hope that is helps people realize the struggle emergency personnel face everyday of their jobs. I have lost many co workers to suicide or breakdowns from which they were never the same. The services they work for say they will not except this in anyway because it is all part of the job.These people are in a battlefield everyday. If you would like to know more about paws4vets below is a web site. you can read the clients stories and see videos.


below is me and WInde


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Lissa, my son-n-law also suffers from PTSD and has a dog. I am not sure if his came from this same organization. His is a black lab that my son had. They took her and sent her off and got her trained. She has a vest to wear with his patches on it. When she has the vest on she knows she is working. When the vest is off she is still aware of his surroundings but will relax more. It is amazing to she her personality change by slipping the vest on. When they are out in public she is with him. I'll get in touch and see which organization did the training for his dog. I also have some pictures of her somewhere in the vest and I will locate those and post.

Thanks so much for sharing and introducing yourself to us. Thanks for your service!

John Moody
Site Administrator

John Moody Woodworks

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 "I can do is hope when you read this you do not see me as a weakling"


My goodness, you are stronger than anyone I know. After all you have been through and yet you have the courage and strength to jump into woodworking to continue to help others. You are a real hero.

WInde is adorable. Here's a picture of our helper. He helps pick up scraps, helps take up room in the bed, helps put down "meadow muffins" in the back yard and is an all around good guy-


His name is Quigley. 

Lew Kauffman-
Wood Turners Forum Host
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Time Traveler and Purveyor of the Universe's Finest Custom Rolling Pins!

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Lissa, you are awesome, you have been put in some very precarious situations to say the least, and each time you ran back in to do your job. Kind of sounds familiar doesn't it guys? Sounds like a soldier to me! Even though Lissa came out of the Army years ago, and took on another first responder position she carried that soldier spirit with her every where, get it done, and run back for more, but after awhile as in the case with many of our troops, you can only do that so many times before it catches up. It caught up with ya Lissa, and now you are recovering, and dealing with it the best way you know how.

I am very proud of you lady, and the work you are doing for Paws4Vets is amazing, it helps you and the cause, a win win.

I hope you keep sharing your life with us Lissa, feel free to drop on here anytime and talk about life, good days, bad days, and of course we want to see your woodwork as it progresses and please do share you work here on the forums. If you need help learning how to use our Forums, feel free to contact any of us here. It looks like you are already off to a great start!!! You posted a photo in this discussion! So you stepped through that learning curve fantastically!!

Welcome to the family Lissa!!!! See ya on the forums!!!

John Morris
The Patriot Woodworker

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