For 5 days earlier this month, Sheep Dog Impact Assistance (SDIA) Disaster Response Teams (DRTs) worked tirelessly to provide disaster recovery assistance to residents of West Virginia by conducting home muck-out & debris removal, chainsaw operations, and other relief efforts as needed. Nearly 30 SDIA members and volunteers deployed from the Northwest Arkansas Chapter, Eastern Tennessee Team, Kansas Chapter, Western North Carolina Chapter, and the Southwest Virginia Team.
SDIA’s on-site Incident Commander, Eastern TN Team Leader Chadd Landress, reported that by the end of the mission, DRTs worked 360 man hours and mucked (cleaned) out 41 homes; of these homes, 11 were home to Veterans or families of Veterans, 1 was Law Enforcement, and 2 were families of Firefighters. DRTs also assisted with unloading & sorting donated products, provided basic first aid to a few individuals, and other assistance as requested.
Helping West Virginia residents in need not only provided SDIA members with an opportunity to use their skills and training, it also offered the camaraderie many miss, and gave members a sense of purpose again. Those who have taken an oath to protect and serve their country and communities often face challenges returning to civilian life after a shift or tour of duty ends; SDIA tries to make the transition a bit easier through their program offerings.
Disaster response missions are just one of the programs SDIA has for members to give back to communities and fellow Sheep Dogs – the men and women who make up our nation’s military and first responder professions. SDIA offers continued service opportunities for its members to satisfy their innate desire to serve and help those around them. They provide “impact assistance” that fosters growth and healing for all involved through disaster response missions, holiday assistance programs, and outdoor adventures.
SDIA is funded solely by the generosity of the public and their corporate sponsors. We receive no federal or local government backing, and all donations and fundraising proceeds are used to fund SDIA’s various Sheep Dog support programs as well as to provide materials and supplies for disaster response missions. To make a tax-deductible donation, please visit the Donate page on our website at www.SheepDogIA.org/donate-money.