SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The family of Billy Lappin, a 41-year-old Coast Guard veteran killed himself earlier this year after struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Shortly afterward, his family found a unique way to honor him.
They've joined up with a group called K9s on the Front Line for their second annual bowling tournament to raise money for the non-profit.
The group trains service dogs for veterans with PTSD for free at ten percent of the cost it would usually take to train a service dog.
Instead of costing what in some cases is well over $15,000, K9s on the Front Line says it can train a dog for between $2000 and $2500, by showing the veteran how to complete the training.
The Lappin's gave $10,000 to the non-profit over the course of the year and presented the group with a large prop check to represent that at Thursday night’s tournament.
They say the cause the group supports is one Billy Lappin was passionate about and being with dogs helped him with his PTSD.
“I remember being on jobs sites and a dog would start barking across the was just because we were working in his neighborhood and Billy would just look the dog and say enough, enough and the dog would just look at him and say okay, “ said Billy’s older brother, James Lappin about the bond Billy shared with animals.
The Lappins haven’t gotten a chance to meet with the service dogs their donations have trained yet.
They plan on finding a time to do that very soon.
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