A Seattle veteran is trying to create the next Ice Bucket Challenge

Dec 1, 2014, 6:06 PM | Updated: Jan 9, 2015, 1:41 pm

Andrew Myers and his dog, Hunter. (Photo courtesy Andrew Myers)

(Photo courtesy Andrew Myers)

A couple of weeks ago I told you about Andrew Myers, a Seattle veteran who caught a guy trying to break into his home, ended up in a scuffle with him out in the yard, and posted his security camera footage on YouTube for the world to see.

The video, titled “Mr Wrong House – Robber Meets Paratrooper” now has nearly 4 million views.

“Part of the reason it became a national story is, gratuitously thanking veterans makes people feel good about themselves,” said Andrew. “That’s my opinion as a soldier watching civilians. It makes people feel patriotic. It’s like warm apple pie to see veteran justice. Another element to it is, people love instant karma. It really seems like these low-level home invasions are a much bigger deal than I realized. So many of these comments are people with similar experiences. There’s like a whole vein of people out there who felt like this was the guy who stole their snowmobile or this is possibly the guy who had been sleeping in their shed. So this is their ability to sort of live vicariously through some instant karma on a well-deserving criminal.”

When Andrew was asked to monetize the video, he didn’t want to. But then he realized he could make money for a charity that he feels strongly about, Paws and Stripes, a non-profit that matches service dogs with veterans who have PTSD.

“A lot of people don’t realize we lose 22 veterans a day to suicide,” he said.

Andrew was a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne and after returning to the states from Afghanistan, he said he immediately began experiencing symptoms of PTSD – within the first hour he was home. When he finally realized what was going on, he got himself a service dog, a sweet Australian shepherd named Hunter.

“I was 100 percent different person within two days of having the dog. I was like, ‘I need you.’ A big symptom of PTSD is, it’s not that anyone has suicidal thoughts, they just don’t envision a future for themselves. That part sort of just washes away. That was the first time I was like, I have to be around for 12 years. I have to be stable. I have to wake up every morning and feed this thing. So really, that was the biggest thing. Really all (my dog has) done is be hairy and annoying,” laughed Andrew. “But that can be enough sometimes.”

Andrew wants to make sure every veteran who needs a dog, gets a dog. So he’s started his own sort of ice bucket challenge. There’s a meme circulating of Andrew, a still photo taken from his YouTube video where he’s facing the camera with his arms spread out wide.

“Doing the, ‘Come at me bro,’ with your arms wide out,” he described.

Andrew wants people to take the same photo, in his pose, write #mrwronghouse on it and post it online.

“Go on the porch, do the wingspan pose, take a black and white picture, and challenge your friends to do the same. Keep the challenge going long enough to hit that viral-ity that will raise enough money to make a difference,” he said.

The idea is that each person challenged will donate to Paws and Stripes, or at the very least spread awareness about veteran suicide, and how a service dog can help keep veterans alive.

“Paws and Stripes are actually the people you see on TV, for the new TV show, Dogs of War. I actually just got in touch with them and they’re super excited. James, the guy you see on the TV show, actually did the pose on his porch last night and uploaded it and has passed the challenge on.”

Click here to get in on the #mrwronghouse photo posting/donating action.

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A Seattle veteran is trying to create the next Ice Bucket Challenge