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Veteran Gets The Perfect Christmas Present To Help Him Heal

"The puppy ... has made him happy after a very difficult three years."

Like for many soldiers retiring from duty, when veteran Peter Coukoulis returned to civilian life, things just weren't the same. After serving five years with the Marine Corps., which included a deployment to Afghanistan where his unit suffered losses, he arrived home to Florida to find out his dog from childhood had passed away while he was gone.

That was three years ago, and Coukoulis continued to reel from PTSD from his experience overseas. But thanks to a special gift from his family, things are starting to brighten again.

Facebook/Dena Coukoulis

Though Christmas Day is still some weeks away, Coukoulis's family decided to surprise him with an early present to help lift his spirit. Little did he know at the time how happy it would make him - and his tears are proof of that. Then again, nothing heals like a puppy's wagging tail.

Here's the touching moment he met his new pup, Willa.

While it's true that pets aren't normally the best gifts, in this case Willa was apparently exactly what Coukoulis needed.

"The puppy has already changed Peter's life," his mom, Dena, told Caters. "It has made him happy after a very difficult three years."