GAITHERSBURG, Md. (WDVM) – Veterans got to meet their new service dogs at Warrior Canine Connection’s graduation ceremony on Saturday.

Around a dozen “good boys and girls” were honored after they completed a two-year training program. These dogs provide emotional support for combat wounded veterans and their families.

“Really, he’s changed my life and it’s been a real blessing,”said United States Marine Corps veteran Kevin Rumley.

Veterans and “Puppy Parents” from 18 different states came out to recognize the hard work and service of both the dogs and military service men and women. Rumley’s new pup, Clifford, is going to lend a helping paw in Veterans’ Court.

“I got Clifford today as a facility dog, he now gets to go to work with me everyday. We do animal-assisted therapy with the other veterans. He also helps out in the court room with family court, so any kids who may have family trauma, i bring Clifford in there, they can play with his ears and pet him to stay calm and grounded,” Rumley explained.

Warrior Canine Connection is based in Boyds, Maryland, the organization has a ranch there where puppies are trained to become service dogs.