There’s something in the air in the veteran community in Vancouver, Washington. It’s a parrot, and it’s headed to another veteran home as a part of the Parrots for Patriots program sponsored by Northwest Bird Rescue. The Parrots for Patriots pairs a parrot in need of a home with a veteran in need of a companion. Christopher Driggins is an Army veteran who founded Northwest Bird Rescue in 1988 after his relationship with birds eased the burden of his Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Four years ago, he started Parrots for Patriots after picking up a parrot whose caretaker had passed. When Driggins had entered the home, he realized that the man had been a military veteran. He realized therapeutic effects that he experienced with his parrots translated well to other veterans too. “Taking care of a bird helps give the veteran a sense of responsibility and duty and something to spoil with unconditional love. And for the birds, they’re happy to have a kind person in their lives,” said Driggins in a feature with People Magazine. Veterans suffering from PTSD have found the the stability and routine of living with a parrot quells some of their suffering. The parrots are very vocal and communicative, and it’s almost like having a roommate. Parrot-Patriot partnerships really can last a lifetime. Some species of parrots live between 80 and 90 years. Washington state has one of the highest populations of retired military in the country, and knowing programs like Parrots for Patriots continue to have our veterans’ best interests in mind is a huge win for our community. Read more about Parrots for Patriots testimonials in this People Magazine feature and learn more about Parrots for Patriots and the Northwest Bird Rescue here.