"Just like a wheelchair or a cane, it's an extension of me," said Gregor Heise.
As more veterans make their way home, service dogs are greeting them with hope for the future.
"These dogs are meant for maintaining the health and care of their handler," said Heise.
And, under the American's With Disabilities Act, all businesses must allow trained service dogs to go wherever their owner goes.
"We try to treat them like everybody else," said Brendan Boyd, the manager of the Cattle Baron Cafe.
But, what about service dogs in training? Just last week, a local veteran became infuriated with Abilene restaurant, The Seafood Tavern, after she was told by the owner that she could not bring her dog inside.
"I said, are you a dog trainer? And she said no. And so I said I don't think I can allow the dog in unless your a trainer," said Seafood Tavern owner Bill Bedford.
Bedford says it was his understanding that service dogs in training did not have the same rights unless they were accompanied by a certified dog trainer.
"The dog was wearing a vest with big letters on both sides of it that said in training," says Bedford.
The ADA allows states to have specific regulations for service dogs in training, (or SDITs), but the laws in Texas are not as clear. Bedford is taking steps to find out what's actually legal, and what's not.
"We've asked the question to our local congressman's office, and what we've learned online and through the ADA and Washington, is that is is illegal," Bedford said.
While there may be some grey area when it comes to legalities, the owner says he was just trying to follow what he thought were the rules.
"We do not discriminate against any service people, especially disabled people," Bedford said. "In fact, our hearts go out to anyone who has been injured in combat."