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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Christmas and Hunting Don’t Go Together…or Do They?

While they may not seem to go together - Christmas and hunting - for Sheep Dog Impact Assistance (SDIA) and the brave men & women we serve, the idea behind both is the same: Helping Others is a Way of Life. We help the children of Sheep Dogs in need have a Merry Christmas by providing them with gifts and necessities their families are unable to give. And we help Sheep Dogs who have been wounded in combat or the line of duty go on all-expenses-paid Outdoor Adventures by collecting donations to sponsor them.

Why do we sponsor them for Outdoor Adventures? By getting them off the couch and engaged in a healthy activity - like obstacle course races, hunting, fishing, skydiving - with others who have been through similar traumatic experiences, they feel a sense of belonging and camaraderie that is non-existent in civilian life. Being able to share their struggles and emotions facilitates organic healing, and reminds them they...

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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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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.


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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...

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