How You Can Help Carolina Flood Victims

How You Can Help Carolina Flood Victims

ConnectingVets.com story by Phil Briggs (9/20/18, 12:45pm)   Sergeant Major Lance Nutt had barely finished his retirement ceremony last Thursday, when he packed his bags, loaded up trailers and headed to Wilmington, NC, along with members of the organization he founded, Sheep Dog Impact Assistance (SDIA). “Just getting into areas like Lumberton and Wilmington, NC was next to impossible because the roads were either completely flooded, or washed out,” he says. SDIA’s Initial Response Team members are no strangers to disaster relief.  The veteran-staffed relief organization was on site to assist residents after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas one year ago.  Now, as a tent city comes together in a Home Depot parking lot in North Carolina, they have 60-100 veterans who break into teams to perform chainsaw work and delivery of food and supplies. “Home Depot and Operation BBQ Relief have been great.  They’ve partnered with us and are making it possible for us to get the supplies and deliver meals. We're currently packing over 300 meals for delivery today,” ...
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Suicide is the Reason SDIA Empowers Sheep Dogs to #GetOffTheCouch

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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SDIA & Skydiving Empower Air Force Veteran to Embrace Life

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

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 and...
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SDIA’s 6th Annual Heroes Gala to Help Veterans, First Responders  Get Off The Couch

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 as a Marine in October...
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SDIA’s Hog Hunt Gives the Joy of Hunting Back to Paralyzed Officer

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 head down, quiet, not...
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Hunting, Golfing & Skydiving Weekend Gives Veterans Much-Needed Camaraderie

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 with the guys, which for me was the first...
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