SDIA & Skydiving Empower Air Force Veteran to Embrace Life

SDIA & Skydiving Empower Air Force Veteran to Embrace Life

For Air Force veteran and SDIA Member Dana Ames, jumping out of a plane on June 2 was more than a bucket list item. Like so many, this grandmother allowed life to beat her down and isolate her. But then she joined #SDIA. SDIA is empowering her to get stronger, more fit and to #GetOffTheCouch! “I want to show people that not only is helping others a way of life,” Dana said, “but it also helps yourself!” At times, many Sheep Dogs feel beaten down, isolated, or depressed. Transitioning from a military or first responder career can be a huge struggle, especially for those injured in combat or the line of duty. These heroes need something or someone to remind them who they are and that they still have much to contribute to making the world a better, safer place. SDIA sponsors these Sheep Dogs for Outdoor Adventures to foster camaraderie and healing in a comfortable setting surrounded by fellow Sheep...
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SDIA Honors Our Fallen Heroes Through Memorial Day Events

SDIA Honors Our Fallen Heroes Through Memorial Day Events

Throughout the month of May, SDIA Teams & Chapters have prepared for Memorial Day – a day for our nation to remember the men and women of the US military who have given their lives defending our country and freedoms. Indeed, our freedom is NOT free…it has come with a heavy price, and we honor those lost by participating in various events throughout the month. May begins with our Teams & Chapters electing to participate in Carry The Load’s Rallies and East Coast Relay by walking 5-mile ‘legs’ of the 2,100-mile relay route from West Point Cemetery in New York to the Memorial March at Reverchon Park in Dallas, Texas, on Memorial Day weekend. The Relay operates 24 hours a day, handing off the American flag every 5 miles, and reminds people of the true meaning of Memorial Day - to honor our nation’s fallen heroes. Participants are encouraged to “carry the load” – a weighted backpack – with names and...
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Central Florida Team Returns to PR for 4th Mission

Central Florida Team Returns to PR for 4th Mission

Members of our Central Florida Team deployed on their 4th disaster response mission to Puerto Rico on Monday, May 14. The team consists of Team Leader Raffy Morales, Ryan Woodard, David Olson, Francisco Velez, and Ramon Mangual. The team will spend the week repairing a home that was extensively damaged during Hurricane Maria and is still in need of repair. So far, the team has: repaired the kitchen & living room; completely demolished and rebuilt the cement walkway & stairs; built a wheelchair ramp; rebuilt the retaining wall; built a window frame and installed its window; patched, prepped and painted the kitchen and one bedroom; and pressure washed and prepped the exterior of the home for painting. In addition to this work, the team will revisit families they assisted on their previous three missions. Watch our Facebook page and website for further updates on this disaster response mission. If you would like to make a financial donation to offset fuel and supplies expenses...
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Local Companies, Individuals Recognized for Contributions to SDIA

Local Companies, Individuals Recognized for Contributions to SDIA

  At SDIA’s Heroes Gala last month (read last week's story here), more than 500 people attended and raised over $90,000 for our Disaster Response Mission, Outdoor Adventure and Holiday Assistance programs. We are incredibly grateful for the support of so many in our community. In addition to an evening of celebrating SDIA’s accomplishments and honoring our Sheep Dogs of the Year, other awards were presented during the VIP reception and the Heroes Gala. Each of these companies and individuals went above and beyond expectations in their support of SDIA and their missions.   SDIA’s mission to engage, assist and empower Sheep Dogs to #GetOffTheCouch and be around others who have faced similar experiences is crucial to their healing – especially for those injured in combat or the line of duty. Often these heroes become depressed and lose their sense of purpose after their injuries; by getting them up off the couch and working or playing among their peers, they are able to speak...
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SDIA Heroes Gala Raises Over $90,000 for Veteran, First Responder Programs

SDIA Heroes Gala Raises Over $90,000 for Veteran, First Responder Programs

Our 6th Annual Heroes Gala on Saturday, April 21, at the John Q. Hammons Convention Center in Rogers will go down as our most successful Gala to date. More than 500 people attended and helped raise over $90,000 to help our nation’s “Sheep Dogs” (veterans and first responders) #GetOffTheCouch and participate in continued service opportunities through our disaster response missions and outdoor adventures. The total funds raised are still being counted…read on to see what was happening behind the scenes that will bring the total even higher! This year’s Heroes Gala boasted an enviable list of sponsors who stepped up to help make this year’s event bigger and brighter than ever. Other companies that contributed sponsorships include Cobb, Hilburn Builders, Inc., Outdoor Cap and Simmons Foods.Thank you for your support! Many awards were presented during the evening – some at the VIP reception, and others during the Gala. 2017 Sheep Dog of the Year awards were presented to: CWO Curtis “Gunner” Kelley...
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SDIA’s 6th Annual Heroes Gala to Help Veterans, First Responders  Get Off The Couch

SDIA’s 6th Annual Heroes Gala to Help Veterans, First Responders Get Off The Couch

  Sheep Dog Impact Assistance (SDIA) will host their 6th Annual Heroes Gala on Saturday, April 21, 2018, from 5:30-11:00PM at the John Q. Hammons Convention Center in Rogers. This year’s Heroes Gala will include a limited-seating VIP Reception at 4:30pm, followed by a social hour and silent auction bidding, a short ceremony, dinner and dancing. Awards to honor those Sheep Dogs who have lived out the SDIA motto, “Helping Others is a Way of Life,” will be presented to Military, Law Enforcement, and Fire & Rescue “Sheep Dogs of the Year.” Funds raised during the evening will be used to help more of our nation's Sheep Dogs #GetOffTheCouch with SDIA’s Disaster Response and Outdoor Adventure programs.   Guest speaker, SSgt Jose Sanchez (USMC, Ret.), and emcee, Cpl Aaron P. Mankin (USMC, Ret.), will entertain and inspire attendees with their life stories and anecdotes throughout the evening. SSgt Sanchez is an active SDIA member who suffered severe injuries as a Marine in October...
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SDIA’s Hog Hunt Gives the Joy of Hunting Back to Paralyzed Officer

SDIA’s Hog Hunt Gives the Joy of Hunting Back to Paralyzed Officer

SDIA hosted some very special Sheep Dogs March 8-11 for our annual Spring Hog Hunt, sponsored by Broadway Contracting LLC and Pro Trucks, Inc. of Siloam Springs, AR. Law enforcement officers Matt Crosby, Michael Rudden and Kerry Pippin were treated to tasty food, exceptional hunting, great conversation and the camaraderie they needed at Turtle Hole Ranch in Texas. This Hog Hunt was unique with the participation of St. Louis Police Officer Crosby. In April 2010, he was shot while responding to a domestic disturbance call and was paralyzed from the waist down; he is now wheel-chair bound and, until this weekend, had not been able to maneuver on hunting grounds. Two companies stepped up and made it possible for Crosby to fully participate in the hunt: Buckmasters - Northwest Arkansas Chapter donated a “track chair,” and Redneck Hunting Blinds donated two ground blinds which accommodated the chair. A fellow hunter said that Crosby arrived at camp with his head down, quiet, not...
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Hunting, Golfing & Skydiving Weekend Gives Veterans Much-Needed Camaraderie

Hunting, Golfing & Skydiving Weekend Gives Veterans Much-Needed Camaraderie

The weekend of March 1-4 saw eleven Sheep Dogs hunting, golfing, and jumping out of planes during our annual Spring Bird Hunt hosted by Bethel Ranch in Whitewright, Texas. Bethel Ranch and their staff took excellent care of Army veterans Joshua Franklin, Merrill White, Beau Saucier, Chance Giannelli, Rob Beidleman, Nick Atchison, and Jason Thompson, as well as Marine veterans James Dunaway, Robert J Houser, Michael Nimmo, and Air Force veteran Scott Lilley. From the food and camaraderie to game bird hunting, Bethel Ranch treated all our Sheep Dogs like kings; the staff at The Bridges Golf Club was also incredibly generous to them. Skydive Spaceland Dallas got them in the air and safely back down to the ground, giving each an epic adrenaline rush. Merrill White hadn’t really thought much about skydiving before, but “being with that group inspired me to do more. I was able to relax and have fun with the guys, which for me was the first...
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