‘Unconditional love’: Wounded Ft. Bragg veteran spends free time bonding with animals who need a home

Cumberland County News

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, N.C. (WNCN) — John Goubeaux spends a couple of times a week at the Cumberland County Animal Control. 

He’s working with the dogs to get them ready for adoption. 

“Realizing at the end of the day what you can do and what you are capable of doing. I will not ever allow what I cannot do to affect what I can do,” Goubeaux said.

The Air Force veteran has seen his fair share of hospitals.

He fell from a military vehicle at Fort Bragg in 2011, hitting his head and causing blunt force trauma. His brain was bleeding and part of his skull was removed for ten weeks.

Goubeaux already had PTSD from combat in Iraq, but after the fall he’s now blind in his right eye, suffers from vertigo and is in constant pain. You wouldn’t know it though by hearing his positivity.

He says working with the dogs allows him to forget about the pain and focus on giving unconditional love. 

“At least I have a cup, doesn’t matter if it’s half full or half empty.”

As part of his healing journey, John spends time out in the community every week with the Wounded Warrior Project.

The focus is on physical activity that helps him heal, while also giving back.

“You try to do more for others than you do for yourself.” 

Goubeaux is matched up with volunteer Stan Mclean, a fellow veteran, and dog lover.

“We speak the same lingo,” Goubeaux said. “Stan said it right it’s a win-win, it’s a win for him and it’s an extreme win for me.”

The Wounded Warrior Project helps Goubeaux get out in the community by going to the shelter and doing other physical activities that help him heal. 

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