Suicide is the Reason SDIA Empowers Sheep Dogs to #GetOffTheCouch

September is Suicide Prevention Month. Many of us know or know of someone who has committed suicide. We also know that people of all ages, beliefs, professions, ethnic backgrounds and financial situations choose to end their lives. A widely publicized number of suicides for the veteran population is 22 per day, and it is estimated that the number of suicides in our first responder communities could be double that. How can we curb this surge of lives lost? How can we help those that are hurting so deeply? How can we get these brave men and women who are willing to die for us to talk about “it”? At Sheep Dog Impact Assistance (SDIA), we have seen that it starts with getting Sheep Dogs off the proverbial “couch” – that dark, desolate place that so many get stuck in – and around fellow Sheep Dogs who have suffered similar traumas & experiences. Being among their military and first responder brothers and sisters brings...

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Big Fun at 4th Annual Big Boat Bash

What an incredible weekend we had at the 4th Annual Big Boat Bash Street Party and 4th Annual Big Boat Bash Fun Run! The weather was good and our Sheep Dogs hosted on boats had an exhilarating day on the water. Congratulations to Kenneth Davis for his first place winning poker hand, and 2nd & 3rd place winners Karie Maasen and Wendi Maasen (respectively) - THANK YOU ALL for donating your winnings to #SDIA!

Thank you to Beaver Lake Performance and Powerboat Assn, Brian Buckminster, Benjamin Moore, Christopher Kinney and everyone else involved in putting together this event - we are humbled by your support! Special thanks as well to all our sponsors - we could not do what we do without you: Complete Audio Visual, Performance Boat Center, OLD TOWN AUTO BODY AND SALES INC./ PHASER MARINE, Triple Oaks Investments, Prairie...

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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

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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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SDIA Outdoor Adventure ShredFest3 Lives Up to Its Name

ShredFest3 lived up to its name, with 11 sponsored Sheep Dogs getting up off the couch and shredding the slopes at Chestnut Mountain Resort (CMR) in Galena, Illinois. The group included US Army, Navy & Marine Corps vets as well as law enforcement officers, a fire fighter and a paramedic. After arriving throughout the day on Thursday, the group gathered together for dinner that evening, and got a good night’s rest in preparation for a full day of fun. Since most attendees hadn’t ever skied and/or snowboarded, many took advantage of the lessons offered Friday morning from CMR’s friendly and helpful instructors. Friday and Saturday were spent shredding the slopes…or at least trying to make it down the hills without falling! Instructors also guided Nate Harrison, a blind and above-the-knee amputee USMC veteran and Kansas City police officer, down the slopes on a monoski. The hot tub, pool and sauna offered great relaxation and helped eased the bruises and soreness of...

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SDIA Named CTL Non-Profit Partner for Second Straight Year

We are thrilled to share with you that SDIA has been selected as a Carry The Load (CTL) Non-Profit Partner for the second straight year! Over the past few years, we have established a rewarding relationship with CTL, and look forward to participating again in their Memorial May events. While this partnership has more benefits for us on an operational level, increasing awareness of SDIA through CTL’s vast network of like-minded organizations will benefit everyone associated with us. Increased awareness means more interest, more members, new Teams & Chapters, more financial support and more Sheep Dogs for us to engage, assist and empower on a national level.

Last year, SDIA had great participation in CTL’s Memorial May events – but we want to do more in 2018 to show CTL and our country how we can all honor and help our nation’s Sheep Dogs. Participation is whatever you can do – contribute financially, walk 5 or more miles on...

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SDIA’s First Outdoor Adventure of 2018

For three days, four sponsored Sheep Dogs and one support personnel ventured into the icy terrain and below freezing temperatures of Pocahontas, AR, to get their hunt on. The Sheep Dogs were welcomed to Fallin Feathers Duck Club by owners, Arthur and Monica Loyd. During their stay, the men hunted for pheasant, did some skeet shooting and relaxed with their peers. The sponsored Sheep Dogs enjoyed this all-expenses-paid get away with the support of Fallin Feathers. While these Outdoor Adventures may seem like a “free vacation,” there is much more going on than meets the eye. Our nation’s Sheep Dogs enjoy a sense of brotherhood and camaraderie in their military and first responder lives that is nearly impossible to replicate outside of those worlds. Add to this disconnected feeling an in-combat or line-of-duty injury, and these brave men and women often become depressed, isolated and lose their sense of purpose. By bringing these Sheep Dogs on an Outdoor Adventure, we...

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