'They Saved My Life,' Boxing Club Provides a Healing Outlet for Veterans
The Associated Press
By Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Diana Nelson Jones
7 Jul 2019
Boxing isn't for every veteran who needs an outlet, but for those it does help, it is a testament to the power of physical activity in improving mental health.
Brandy Horchak-Jevsjukova, left, helps Tysh Wagner with stretches after a workout at Warrior's Call Boxing in Baden on Monday, June 10, 2019. Wagner served two tours of duty as a medic in Afghanistan and says the boxing workout helps her heal from the trauma of her war experiences. Horchak-Jevsjukova, co-owner of Warrior's Call, served in Iraq. (Steve Mellon/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)BADEN, Pa. (AP) — Brandy Horchak-Jevsjukova jokes that she is Tyshie Wagner's service dog.
A veteran's service dog is trained to lean into her to provide comfort, to stand watch behind her, to jump up or paw her to interrupt a crisis.
Brandy has leaned into Tyshie persistently since they met in 2017, when Tyshie was almost 400 pounds, terrified of leaving her house, and imagining — and once attempting — suicide. She had gone through several therapists and had a husband who was at his wits' end.
Cutting through the chronology of their story, we arrive at the Warrior's Call Boxing Club in Baden, Beaver County, one recent morning.
Brandy and her husband, Vitali Jevsjukova, whom everyone calls "V," opened the club in 2015 to be the help to veterans that boxing had been for them during their military service in Iraq.
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