Don’t Miss Out – SDIA’s Patriot Day Events are This Weekend!

Don’t Miss Out – SDIA’s Patriot Day Events are This Weekend!

Don’t miss out on the fun as we honor the fallen and show appreciation for the service and sacrifice of our nation’s Sheep Dogs – those who serve (or have served) in our military, law enforcement, fire & rescue, and EMS professions. If you live in Arkansas, Kansas, Michigan, Northeast Oklahoma, or Eastern North Carolina, we hope you will check out their respective Patriot Day Events! Proceeds from all events will fund SDIA's Holiday programs, so the more money raised means more struggling Veteran and First Responder families will have happy holidays. (Click these links for more information about out Thanksgiving Outreach and Christmas Outreach programs). Held in September each year, SDIA's Patriot Day events honor the lives lost and those injured in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and provides an opportunity to show appreciation for the service and sacrifice of all our nation's Sheep Dogs. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS - Hosted...
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Rafting & Racing Inspire Sheep Dogs

Rafting & Racing Inspire Sheep Dogs

They started arriving in North Carolina on Thursday, August 4, and by Friday, Sheep Dog Impact Assistance (SDIA) had 70+ veterans, first responders and supporters gathered to participate in their Western North Carolina Chapter’s Adventure Weekend. This annual adventure culminates in running the Asheville Spartan Super, and for 30 of the participants, the race would be a test of how far they had come since being injured in combat or the line of duty - and a reminder that no matter the obstacle, they can overcome it all with their brothers and sisters by their side. The Sheep Dogs started their weekend with a hearty breakfast at the Dixie Diner in Hendersonville on Friday morning, followed by white water rafting on the Nantahala River. James Hurn, Deputy Sheriff with the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, summed up the experience the best. “I thought it was going to be a typical rafting trip,” he said. “But I quickly learned that when you throw a...
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Skydiving Events Renew Spirits of Sponsored Sheep Dogs

Skydiving Events Renew Spirits of Sponsored Sheep Dogs

Ask someone if they want to skydive, and you are sure to get one of two adamant answers – “YES! Let’s do it!” or “Are you CRAZY?! Why would I jump out of a perfectly good airplane?!” Fortunately for the willing, both the Northwest Arkansas Chapter and Michigan Team of Sheep Dog Impact Assistance (SDIA) recently held skydiving events – with the others enjoying the excitement and camaraderie with their feet firmly on the ground. While some members of SDIA have jumped as part of their military training, not all did. For those who stayed on the ground or in the plane, skydiving may provide the rush of combat or other intensive training in a very new way. This was the case for sponsored first-time skydiver USMC Cpl Justin Denslow at the Michigan Team’s July 3 event held at Skydive Tecumseh. After being diagnosed with PTSD upon his return from Afghanistan, Cpl Denslow tried various treatments/training to manage his symptoms – with...
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SDIA’s Unforgettable Adventure at Yosemite National Park

SDIA’s Unforgettable Adventure at Yosemite National Park

After 5 days of camping in and exploring the vast and magnificent Yosemite National Park, the Sheep Dog Impact Assistance (SDIA) group was tired, but refreshed and invigorated by their experiences. As special guests of the National Park Service as they celebrate their 100th anniversary, the 60+ Sheep Dogs and family members who participated in this Outdoor Adventure were treated to upgraded camp sites, a special tour, and the opportunity to discover all this incredible park has to offer. From May 29 through June 2, SDIA guests visited Tuolumne Meadows, swam at snow melt Tenaya Lake, summited waterfall peaks, and hiked and explored the meadows, ponds, rivers and mountains surrounding them. A highlight for many was the private guided tram-ride tour of Yosemite Valley by the Park Rangers; during the tour, Rangers thanked our sponsored Sheep Dogs for their service and for honoring the Park by spending Memorial Day week in Yosemite. For all who were there, being unplugged from technology, reconnecting...
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SDIA Combat Wounded Member’s Social Media Videos Getting Attention

SDIA Combat Wounded Member’s Social Media Videos Getting Attention

Sheep Dog Impact Assistance (SDIA) is excited to share that one of our Combat Wounded Veteran Members, Jose Luis Sanchez, was featured on CrossFit HQ’s Facebook* and Instagram* page on Wednesday! Sanchez's Facebook and Instagram posts showing his training, perseverance and hard core resolve at Warrior Fitness Center caught their attention. In October 2011, SSgt Jose Luis Sanchez had no idea how drastically his life was about to change. While conducting a foot patrol in Afghanistan, Sanchez stepped on an IED, resulting in the amputation of his left leg below the knee, and an extremely damaged, but salvageable, right leg. For the next four years, Sanchez would struggle daily to accept the man he had become. He hid from the world – physically and emotionally – because he feared how others would see him…his injuries. Yet he vigorously pushed himself in physical therapy so he would walk again. Then he began CrossFit, and physically pushed himself further than he ever imagined he...
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SPARTAN BEAST RACE – Breckenridge, CO

SPARTAN BEAST RACE – Breckenridge, CO

On June 13th, a Team of 13 Sheep Dog Impact Assistance (SDIA) members and supporters participated in the Spartan Beast Race in Breckenridge, CO. SDIA was honored to sponsor, with the support of New Creature and Spartan, two combat wounded veterans, Sgt Matt Spang (US Army) and SSgt Jose Sanchez (USMC), as they both pushed their limits on this 13-mile course. While in Afghanistan, Sgt Spang suffered severe injuries and lost both legs below the knee. SSgt Sanchez lost one leg and suffered major injuries to his other leg while serving in Iraq. To see these young warriors push themselves through the grueling Beast course was an inspiration to everyone on the race trail. Prior to the Beast, the furthest Sgt Spang had gone on his prosthetic legs in one outing was 200 yards. But that Saturday, he surpassed all expectations. The steep snow-covered descents were especially difficult, but with the entire team working together, all made it safely down the mountain....
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