By Connor Hughes

Looking back on it now, ‘Deckers Dogs’ is just about everything Eric Decker had hoped it would be when he established it back in 2013.

His wife Jessie grew up in a military family, was born on a military base and moved 14 times growing up. The two together had an unwavering love for animals, and were looking to start a unique fundraising event that combined both passions–military support and animal endearment– into one.

Deckers Dogs does just that, and this weekend will be partnering with VPI Pet Insurance to raise money to contribute to the rescue, care and custom training for service dogs that will be given to military veterans coping with PTSD or physical disabilities.

“(Jessie and I) really wanted to give back to our veterans, but give back in a unique way,” Decker told “There’s so many good programs out there, but this one was very unique. These dogs can give veterans an opportunity to live a normal life again.”

In total, each dog requires roughly 10 months to a year and a half of training before he or she is ready to be given to a returning veteran. The cost of the overall training is a staggering $25,000 per dog. In the years since its creation, Deckers Dogs has helped fund the rescue, care and training of four dogs that have since been given to four veterans. Two more dogs are in training now.

In honor of Memorial Day weekend, the Eric and Jessie Decker Foundation is looking to raise money to support the cause.

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