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Vietnam War Veteran, Mr. Willie Bob Wright, Jr. Proves Man’s Best Friend is Not Always a Dog

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Horses Willie Wright1 Horses Willie Wright2By Charlene Medley

Almost everyone has heard of seeing eye dogs for the blind. But did you know that there are two main categories of helping dogs?
Therapy dogs provide comfort and affection to people in hospitals, nursing and retirement homes. Assistance dogs help disabled people.
Horse lover, Mr. Willie Bob Wright, Jr., uses his three horses instead of dogs, to provide therapeutic assistance to himself and other people.
Disabled Veteran, Mr. Wright fought for his country in the Army from 1971-1973 during the Vietnam War. He said while serving in Vietnam and after he came back home to America, he used drugs as a life coping mechanism.
Mr. Wright explained, “When I was in Vietnam, I started using drugs. When I returned home, I was still using drugs. No one ever checked to see if I were on drugs. I had lost interest in everything. I was suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) so I medicated myself with more drugs.”
Then, Mr. Wright’s father passed. “I felt I did not have anyone so I began to use drugs more heavily,” he said.
When he became tired of being sick and tired of his life, Mr. Wright said he  turned to the Lord. “I prayed to God to help me stop drinking and using drugs and Jesus helped me by way of the Veterans Administration Hospital.”
He emphasized, “I quit because it was time for me to quit.”
“After I stopped using drugs and drinking, I asked God to show me how to fill the void. God renewed my love for horses and my mind was taken completely off drugs,” he added.
Mr. Wright expounded, “When I was a child, we did not have horses. We had mules. I loved to ride those mules.  When I turned 16, I worked at Warrior River Stables in Cordova, Alabama. My love for horses deepened. After the Vietnam War, I had lost total interest in horses. I had forgotten how much I truly loved horses and God lit the spark again.”
Now, clean for three years, Mr. Wright brings happiness to children, adults and himself with his three horses.  Dexter is his pony. Sugar Mama is the medium sized horse. Buckethead is the largest horse.
Mr. Wright said his horses perform at church events, carnivals, birthday parties and  wherever he is invited to showcase his horses. He said he has four helpers because he  always brings all three of his horses to the events.  “My helpers lead the kids around on the horses and assist if a person is a little more experienced with horseback riding.”
“Buckethead is a ham. He loves to perform for crowds. I rode Buckethead at the Black Rodeo at the BJCC on June 27th of  this year,” Mr. Wright mentioned.
He said working with his horses and children is a good thing because “it helps me with my recovery. I don’t drink any more. I don’t do drugs any more. Drugs are no good.  I want all children to know that drugs are bad for you.  Stay clean. There are other ways to get kicks and highs.”
“I have a collapsed lung and I am on oxygen because of the drugs. I don’t stop, though. It’s a cleansing process and God is showing me how enjoyable life can be without drugs. I thank God that I am free from drugs. I have nothing to hide. If I can make a difference in one child’s life, it’s all worth it,” Mr. Wright said.
He said some policemen ride his horses as well. “I love it. I want my horses to mingle with everyone so that when we are performing, the horses won’t be skittish.”
After serving his country in the Vietnam War from 1971-1973, Mr. Wright said he is finally receiving his VA  Disability Benefits and badly needed help.