It wasn't all bad
Since launching Parrots for Patriots in 2015, Chris Driggins has paired 90 abandoned birds with veterans in the Northwest looking for emotional support animals.
Driggins, who also runs Northwest Bird Rescue in Vancouver, Washington, told Today that after leaving the service, many veterans, especially those with post-traumatic stress disorder, feel lost without having a routine and responsibilities. Birds "demand normalcy," he said, and "you don't have those restless nights where you're up all night worrying, because the bird has exhausted you. And if you do get up in the middle of the night, the bird will understand. There are so many things that birds can do for you that no other animal can."
David Haro, a Navy vet from Oregon with PTSD, now has a bird in addition to a service dog. "Pets give me something to do," he told Today. "Animals are non-judgmental. They're there in your dark times and in your good times. They love you unconditionally."