My name is Mary Mattox. I serve as the Founder of Service Peace Warriors. After a life-saving experience with my son's 8-month-old German Shepard, I decided to get and train my service dog for my complex PTSD. With this experience and the statistics of 24 Veterans killing themselves every day, I decided to start Service Peace Warriors. I have over 30 years of dog training experience, beginning at a young age training herd dogs in New Zealand. I founded Service Peace Warriors in 2015, and we put our first teams (Veteran/Dog) in 2017. since then, I have seen the impact these dogs can make, and I am excited to see how many more lives we can change.
My name is Chance Mattox. I am the Co-Founder of Service Peace Warriors. After graduating High School in 2018, I dedicated my life to my passion for training dogs and giving back to Veterans. This passion developed through many years of training and showing dogs through 4-H. I began training service dogs for Service Peace Warriors, serving an apprenticeship under Mary Mattox. In 2019, I partnered with Mary to found Mattox Dog Training Academy, specializing in rehabilitating aggressive and highly anxious dogs. I look forward to improving my dog training skills in the future while helping deserving Veterans.
My name is Kari St Hilaire. I am the Operations Director of Service Peace Warriors. I have five kids and live on 4 acres in Eltopia, WA. I met Mary Mattox through 4-H when my kids joined her club and learned to show goats. Since I had some bookkeeping knowledge, I started helping with bookkeeping at Service Peace Warriors. As the organization grew, so did my role as secretary. I then began overseeing the day-to-day operations while continuing my bookkeeping work and filling in wherever is needed. Since becoming involved in this organization in 2017, I have seen and heard the difference these dogs are making and the lives they have saved. I had no idea what I was getting into, but I'm sure glad to be a part of such a life-changing organization.
Service Peace Warriors is a service for any American soldier who needs help coping with PTSD symptoms, MST, and other disabilities due to military service. This service includes active and non-active duty veterans- if your PTSD, MST, or other disabilities result from your military service, and you are actively getting treated by a medical professional, we can help you.
Mary Mattox has trained and worked with animals most of her life. She grew up in New Zealand, where she rode racehorses and worked on dairy farms whenever she could as a kid. Mary worked alongside sheepdogs during the Christmas holidays and on and off over her lifetime, teaching dogs obedience and tricks, starting with her first dog Charlie when Mary was 15. She moved to America when she was 17 and became widely known for her natural wisdom in breeding and raising pigs, goats, dogs, and horses. She broke horses for about eight years, has been a 4H leader for ten years, and has been involved in 4H for 18 years.
Here in Eltopia North of Tri-Cities, Washington, you can be in a relaxed country setting while training with your Service Dog.
Mary grew up with a torturous violent, and controlling mother. Mary was fostered out to other families and further abused by various strangers. She was exposed to multiple traumas over a long 17-year period, starting from as young as a baby. As a consequence, Mary developed lifetime Complex PTSD. Living with, and raising animals, has always been healing for her anxiety. Mary's deep knowledge that animals are healing for humans and her genuine and passionate drive to help others led her to start Service Peace Warriors. Although Mary does not know what it's like to be a veteran, she does understand what it's like to live with PTSD. Her symptoms were so bad that she ended up in the hospital with high blood pressure to give her a stroke. At times in her life, when the anxiety and depression got too severe, she spent weeks in bed talking herself out of killing herself. Mary's experience has led her to feel deep empathy for American Veterans. Service Peace Warriors is her way of giving back to the soldiers for what they do for us. Mary knows what a dog's comfort brings and how it changes her life. Having a dog enabled her to go places, do things, and talk to people. Teaming up with her service dog opened up a new world for her, and she hopes to do the same for American Veterans with PTSD.
American Veterans have written a blank check to the US government; therefore, those Veteran men and women have written a blank check for their lives — so that we can sleep safely at night. Veterans with PTSD, MST, or other service-related disabilities want to be able to walk out their front door. They want to be able to live their lives. These service dogs change Veterans’ lives. Many Veterans can’t leave their own homes because they may hear a backfire of a car or hear a helicopter and start having traumatic flashbacks. Veterans who have difficulty leaving their homes, such as going to the grocery store for themselves, these dogs open up a new world to them that they didn’t know they could have. With trauma issues, it is a gift to have the company of a dog who provides unconditional loving companionship. The dog provides a sense of emotional and psychological security to the Veteran. These dogs are trained to wake the Veteran at night if the Veteran is having night terrors. The dog will get up on the bed and lick them until they wake out of their nightmare. This makes the Veteran feel safer, more comfortable, less anxious, and less agitated. Having that security is a huge gift provided by that dog.
It all started with Cloud - he was the first.