You can help war heroes suffering from emotional and physical trauma by attending a Beach Party in Seaside Park on May 17. Chef Mike's A-B-G (Atlantic Bar and Grille) is hosting the event for Paws 4 Vets, which trains dogs to comfort veterans.

service dogs
Flickr User Just chaos

A friendship with a disabled veteran who had a service dog is what led to Chef Mike taking an interest in the organization and wanting to help raise money for it.

"When people think of service dogs, they think of dogs for the blind, that's the first thing that comes to their mind. These are just the opposite. These dogs do everything for these guys and gals that come back from foreign wars and overseas," said Chef Mike.

Service men and women having trouble relating to society, suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), or even a physical disability are comforted by the animals.

"The dogs are very expensive. They're very well trained. They're trained by prisoners. They're about $10,000 a dog and they're trained for almost three years. The veteran does not pick the dog. The dog picks them. They do a thing that's called a bump," Chef Mike said. He explained that the veterans sit in a chair while dozens of dogs walk by, and the one dog that "bumps" the veteran is their match.

The remarkable process takes about three days, according to Chef Mike. "The dog has to feel something through the owner, and it's a personal thing. The dog is there 24 hours with the person and it's their lifeline."

The Paws 4 Vets Beach Party is being held on Sunday, May 17, 2015, from Noon to 4p.m. at 24th and Central Avenues in Seaside Park. Tickets cost $50.00 for adults and $20 for children.

"We have about eight restaurants, local breweries and wineries, we have live music, a silent auction, a live gift auction, plenty of food and drink. It's a bring your own chair. We're going to have bonfire afterwards. We're going to have our military present from all different wars," said Chef Mike.

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