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July 4th, 2024

403 – US Army Veteran Ty Buras & Retrieving Freedom

  1. 403 – US Army Veteran Ty Buras & Retrieving Freedom Oscar Mike Radio 1:02:55

In this conversation, I talked with Ty Baras, an Army veteran, and Brendan Butler, CEO of Retrieving Freedom, as they discussed the profound impact of service dogs on veterans’ lives. Let’s delve into the key takeaways and actionable advice from their experiences.

Ty’s Journey: From Active Duty to Civilian Life

Ty Baras began his military journey in Burlington, Iowa, joining the Army in 1987 and serving in the infantry. His deployment during Desert Storm in 1991 marked a significant chapter in his life. Transitioning back to civilian life after retiring from the military in 2016 presented Ty with challenges, including adjusting to a new routine and coping with mental health issues exacerbated by his service.

Key Insights:

• Veteran Transition Challenges: Many veterans struggle with finding purpose and adapting to civilian life, often compounded by mental health concerns.

• Support Systems: The role of family, friends, and veteran support organizations is crucial in recognizing and addressing these challenges.

The Turning Point: Discovering Retrieving Freedom

During his transition, Ty discovered Retrieving Freedom, an organization dedicated to providing service dogs to veterans and individuals with disabilities. This discovery marked a turning point in Ty’s life, offering him newfound companionship and support through a service dog.

Key Insights:

• Service Dogs as Lifelines: These dogs not only assist with daily tasks but also provide invaluable emotional support, significantly enhancing veterans’ quality of life.

• Retrieving Freedom’s Impact: The organization’s rigorous training and matching process ensure that each veteran receives a service dog tailored to their specific needs, fostering a life-changing bond.

Understanding Service Dogs: Brendan Butler’s Expertise

Brendan Butler, CEO of Retrieving Freedom, emphasizes the distinction between emotional support animals and service dogs. Service dogs undergo extensive training over two years to perform tasks that aid individuals with disabilities, ranging from physical support to alleviating PTSD and anxiety symptoms.

Key Insights:

• Training Excellence: Service dogs undergo stringent evaluation and training protocols, including ADA accreditation, to ensure their effectiveness and reliability.

• Community Involvement: Retrieving Freedom’s commitment extends beyond placement, offering ongoing support and community engagement through initiatives like their ambassador program.

Actionable Advice for Veterans and Organizations

For veterans seeking support:

• Seek help from support networks and veteran organizations.

• Consider the benefits of a service dog in enhancing daily life and emotional well-being.

For organizations supporting veterans:

• Prioritize thorough training and evaluation of service dogs.

• Provide continuous support to ensure long-term success and community integration.

Brendan Butler shares inspiring success stories illustrating how service dogs empower veterans to overcome challenges and contribute to their communities. Retrieving Freedom aims to expand its ambassador program and sustain impactful initiatives through ongoing fundraising efforts.

Our conversation underscores the profound impact of relationships, particularly the bond between veterans and their service dogs, in transforming lives. By understanding these dynamics and embracing actionable advice, we can collectively support veterans and foster a community of empowerment and Resilience.

For more information on Retrieving Freedom and its mission to provide life-changing service dogs, visit their website ( and consider supporting their efforts.

Thank you, Ty and Brandon, for sharing with us.

Travis Partington Travis - Oscar Mike Radio

Travis grew up in the Midwest before moving with his family to the South. From there he joined the Marine Corps and served as a radar operator for HAWK Missile System.

After the Marine Corps, Travis moved to the Boston area, and works for a financial services firm.

Travis has done voice-over and is currently working on a project reading poems. In 2022, Travis’ contribution to the anthology, “Let Go or Be Dragged”, made Travis an International Best Seller. Travis has also contributed to The Resilient Warrior, Born in a Bar 2, and Veterans Unchained 2.0.

Travis enjoys being a dad, the outdoors, archery, and riding his motorcycle. Being a father is the most rewarding aspect of Travis’ life.

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