When Benzell Vereen graduates, his
service dog, Blue, will be by his side and dressed in commencement attire. I think
it’s pretty cool that he’s gonna get all dressed up and fancy and get to walk
across the stage. After spending almost two decades in the Army Benzell returned
to civilian life. The transition was not easy. When I initially got out of the
Army and off of active duty I didn’t leave home. Now Blue, who Benzell
trained, is constantly with him. He makes his money in a lot of different ways. For
instance, without Blue, Benzell avoided public settings and crowds of people he
didn’t know. He’s gotten me through that so I can actually come on campus and
actually socialize and get through my day. Benzell will earned his Sociology
degree because of his service dog. There’s no way I would have gotten this
far. I may have made it to the first class, but I wouldn’t have finished.
Benzell hopes to pursue a master’s degree and eventually work with Rehabilitation
Behavioral Health Services in Horry County, an agency with which he interned.
It’s something I can relate to, working with the kids in my local community.
Benzell says he hopes what he has accomplished will inspire others. Having
a service dog shouldn’t stop you from trying to come out and better yourself.