When Luis Montalván returned from Iraq, he found himself secluded and constantly on alert in an apartment in Manhattan.
While walking down the street, he looked at a discarded soda can as a potential bomb. At night, he suffered from frequent nightmares.
His post-traumatic stress disorder was crippling, until he met Tuesday.
The golden retriever was trained as a service dog and helped the veteran get back out into the world. He helps him navigate busy streets and wakes him up when he starts to have a nightmare.
Montalván went on to write a book about the companion who he says saved his life, titled "Until Tuesday."
Lodi residents will have the opportunity on Sunday to meet Montalván, who earned a Combat Badge, two Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart.
The Lodi Public Library is hosting a book discussion focused on issues faced by returning combat veterans at 7 p.m. today.
Then, on Sunday, the library is bringing in both Montalván and Tuesday.
The library received a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services to bring in an author for the Book to Action program. The goal is to get a community to read a book about a social issue, discuss it and then find a way to take action.
The library could choose from several books, but chose Montalván's because it is a pressing issue, said Andrea Woodruff, the library services manager.
"People should read it to understand the impact of modern warfare on our soldiers. Secondly, there needs to be more in the way of medical and psychological care," she said.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is becoming a growing problem throughout the country as soldiers return home, Woodruff said. In Lodi, she said, some of the homeless men are suffering from it from when they were in Vietnam or more recent military action.
The other main factor is the need for service dogs to be allowed to stay close to their owners as part of the Americans with Disabilities Act, reference library Sandra Smith said.
For example, Montalván writes about finally working up the courage to ask a girl out on a date, and then not being allowed to get on the bus because the driver would not let Tuesday on.
"They are being turned away from establishments and they have a legal right to be in there," Smith said. "He wants to educate ordinary people like you and me to get better laws and support out of Congress for veteran benefits."
All of the library's adult book clubs have been reading the book, and people are saying they want to get involved, Woodruff said.
"Mostly what I'm hearing is, 'This book hit me hard' and, 'I've got to do something.' It's an incredibly strong call to action," she said.
The book discussion will be held at 7 p.m. tonight in the Lodi Public Library Community Room. The author visit will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at Hutchins Street Square in Crete Hall.