SDIA Outdoor Adventures Inspire Veterans, First Responders to #GetOffTheCouch

Outdoor Adventures Foster Healing for Veterans & First Responders From late March through early June, SDIA was very busy helping Sheep Dogs #GetOffTheCouch on SEVEN Outdoor Adventures. Particularly for sponsored Sheep Dogs – those veterans and/or first responders injured in combat/line of duty or experiencing intense stressors – time away from day-to-day issues and anxiety, and spending time outdoors with fellow Sheep Dogs is exactly what is needed. It fosters camaraderie, organic healing, and many times leads to a renewed sense of purpose to reengage in living a productive and meaningful life.

To all the companies, organizations and individuals that partnered with us and/or sponsored/donated to these Outdoor Adventures, thank you for your support and generosity, and for making our Sheep Dogs feel like the heroes they are. To see more photos from many of these adventures, visit our Facebook page.

If you are interested in learning more about our Outdoor Adventures or know of a Sheep Dog in need...

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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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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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Outdoor Adventures

Throughout the year, we host challenging events in which our fellow Sheep Dogs can participate. These adventures give them opportunities to get up off the couch, be around their peers, and reengage in life. Particularly for those injured in combat or the line of duty, SDIA's Outdoor Adventures give our Sheep Dogs a chance to see how far they have come since being injured, and remind them that no matter the obstacle, they can overcome it with their brothers and sisters by their side. As a result, participants have a new focus, revitalized self-confidence, and are reminded that they can continue making a difference in their communities and for their country. Past adventures have included obstacle races, skydiving, whitewater rafting, big game & bird hunts, ruck marches, and scuba diving.

Testimonials: Asheville Adventure Weekend & Spartan Super, August 6, 2016 - U.S. Navy veteran and firefighter, Jamie Smith, felt the Spartan Super's grueling 9-mile course and 25 obstacles provided the challenge he...

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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...

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