Being nominated as a CNN Hero isn’t Cortani’s first time in the limelight. She’s been featured in the Dispatch, recently received a major grant from the local philanthropic Gilroy Foundation and was honored with the American Red Cross Real Heroes Award in 2011.
“I’m still in that reaction phase of, ‘wow, this is real?’ and ‘holy cow!” said Cortani, who has lived in Gilroy for 18 years. “I’m honored; I’m humbled. I don’t think of myself as a hero. It’s really about men and women who are coming home injured, and helping make their lives better.”
I have been posting about getting local communities engaged in helping veterans returning home to life after war. This story and video is a heartwarming example of bringing a non-profit public/private partnership to the local community with the “soul feeding” focus we need. Cortani’s work sets an excellent example of the critical need for veterans suffering from symptoms of PTSD & TBI to have consistent companionship and therapy. Man’s best friend is one of the best solutions. The video shows a veteran in crisis and how the dog interacts as a buddy and healer. Therapy dogs offer unconditional love. They never give up. No matter what their master is feeling or challenged with, a therapy dog stays with you and comforts you on bad days and good days.
Steve Sparks, Author, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story