Students in Divide training service dog for local veteran

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DIVIDE, Colo. (KKTV) -- Every day our veterans in southern Colorado can face tough challenges, even with simple tasks. Some elementary students in Divide want to help out.

Students train Holly to become a service dog for a local veteran.

Five students at Summit Elementary School are working hard to train Holly to become a service dog. They plan to give her to a local veteran by May.

"We recognize a large number of veterans in Teller County who would largely benefit from having a service dog to help them," said Christian Bonnette.

"The projects that we're doing all tie into Destination Imagination, and Destination Imagination is the world's largest creative problem-solving competition," said Tegwyn Toal.

It takes a lot of dedication.

"it takes about 500 hours to train each dog and about $5,000," said Leah Strawmatt.

"My favorite part of the project is when we get to present the dogs and train the dogs," said Zehan Rogers.

Every week the students gather after school and work with trainer John Franks of the non-profit group Heroes Pack.

"To see these kids get it at the level they do and understand how important it is to be able to accept some things that didn't happen right and still show up for now, it's super touching," said Franks.

The students came up with the idea on their own.

"We found quite a bit of veterans without service dogs that can benefit," said Dawson Tisdall.

And they will benefit, thanks to the committed kids who are making a difference for veterans in our community.

The team competed in a regional competition Saturday and won first place. Now they will go on to state.

So far the group said they have raised about $1,200 toward their goal of $5,000.

Click here for a link to the group's GoFundMe page.