Good Morning America Happy Labor Day

GOOOOOD MORNING AMERICA!!! Happy Labor Day and RABBIT!!! That way you a real good ‘jump’ on beginning the new month.

And What a month August was!! WE, the American people have lost a truly outstanding comedian and an iconic movie personality within hours. We will only hear those opening words of this letter, uttered by a Genius when the movie plays again.

Robin Williams, in contrast, was the typical comedian, playing the role of Pagliacci throughout his life. He was truly a genius in his characters. It was stated “Geniuses do naturally what others attempt to do”!!! Robin survived the years with many demons inside, just like those individuals with PTSD.

The loss of Lauren Bacall is a sign of our advancing age, mortality and the fulfillment of the ‘Circle of Life’. “THE LOOK” as it was phrased, embodied the personality, the royalty and the persona of her being. Self assured and confident in all of her roles in the movies and in real life. “Bacall just did not survive”, as William Faulkner stated, “She prevailed”.

Survival is what happens when you beat the odds going against you. To PREVAIL is to exceed the expectations and continue to grow, live and prosper.

Our wounded warriors have survived the battlefield, only to come home faced with a life of counseling sessions, use of prescription medications and being threatened with the terms ‘non-compliant’ , ‘hostile altitude’ etc. They are treated as if they have no say in their own choice of therapeutic intervention, until they stand up for themselves or have an advocate that goes the extra mile. To survive PTSD is one thing, but to PREVAIL and go forward into the present and future is another.

‘PREVAIL’ will become an integral part of the TADSAW message and mission statement because it means to succeed, to triumph, to exceed the expectations, to excel, to exist, to endure, to live to fight another day, etc. It is more than just ‘to survive’.

Now on to recent news….. Several more Veterans have prevailed and became accredited TADSAW Service Dog Teams, since the end of July. Congratulations to the following Teams and their trainers during the Month of August

Bridgette & SHADOW(R): TSD0301; Jarod & FERGE: TSD0302 ; Jonathan & BRUCE(R): TSD0303 – all trained by Michelle of Fort Worth —

Keith & SAM(R): TSD0304 – trained by Melissa of Kentucky;
Erik & HACHI(R): TSD0305 – trained by David of North Carolina;
Craig & BELLA(R): TSD0306 – trained by Chris of Fort Rucker;
Trevor & YOSHI(R):TSD0307 – trained by Jackie of Colorado Springs;
Rob & WILLOW(R): TSD0308; Tara & CHUKA(R): TSD0309; Jerry & BLAZE(R): TSD0310; and Johnathan & CHUNKY: TSD0311 – all trained by Jessica of Fort Hood;
Katie & TOOTHLESS(R): TSD0312; Brian & INDIA(R): TSD0313; Michael & LAYLA(R): TSD0314; and Chris & LUNCH(R): TSD0315 – all trained by Sandhya of Austin

This was Chris’s first Team to go thru the TADSAW Public Access Temperament Test, and has many more in the wings. All of the dogs are rescues(R), whether as older dogs or as a puppy in one case. But no matter what, each one saved the other. CONGRATULATIONS & GOOD LUCK as you all go forward in Life!!!!

Well, the numbers for August 2014 are in the history books. As Summer winds down and Fall begins, the number of applications sent out was 162, compared to the 2013 figure of 105!!!!! So far in 2014, there have been 1466 requests for applications, from all over the United States. The remarkable number is that 79 completed applications were received completed and ready to be assigned to a TADSAW Trainer following the Labor Day Holiday.

With the 600 applications returned completed and the accredited 117 TADSAW Service Dog Teams, this means over 700 families, 700 neighborhoods and 700 communities have been touched by TADSAW in 2014. And to have been a part of this program and event… all one can say is WOW!!!!!

TADSAW was honored with donations from the Central Park Lions Club, the San Antonio Founder Lions Club and the Jewish War Veterans Post 753 during August, receiving donations to sponsor 4 Teams. The Colonel and I received invitations to speak about the Program to several other groups, and as always he stole the event.

TADSAW received some assistance several days ago, when a good friend and U.S. Army General Retired, provided a needed boost to assist the TADSAW Memorandum of Understanding. The new strategy presents a Memorandum of Explanation covering the Train a Dog – Save a Warrior philosophy of training, in addition to laying the ground work for the training of the TADSAW Service Dog Team. Many Thanks to General David… TADSAW needed that!!!!

With the kickoff of College Football and the NFL in September, TADSAW wants to offer a special donation incentive.
for those of you who just might be interested. Donate $2,500, for one Team and get a second Team free, plus a pair of TADSAW T-shirts, and realize that you have just made a big difference in a Veteran’s Quality of Life.

Unfortunately, so many of the TADSAW’s Veterans are still struggling with speaking openly about their experiences or even having their photos snapped, it makes it difficult to share all them with the donors. However, I am going to see if they will write about their experiences before and after their canine ‘Battle Buddy‘ came into their Life. Then I will add them to both the TADSAW and TADSAW-WOW websites.

Well, it took me 3 weeks to complete this email!!! As you can see when I started it. The TADSAW wounded warrior, Active Duty or Veteran, begins the program as a PTSD/MST/TBI survivor with an in-training Service Dog and by the time the Pair passes the TADSAW PATT, the Team becomes a Service Dog in-training and, going against the odds, has PREVAILED for themselves, their families and their communities with their ‘Battle Buddy’.

Have a great week ahead….. hoping you had a safe Labor Day Holiday!!!

As always, I remain,

Bart Sherwood
Program Director – TADSAW, INC.
(210)643-2901
bart@tadsaw.org
**NEW BLOGSITE: www.tadsaw-wowmoments.org
**NEW VIDEOS: Therapy Dogs Heal Troops (UMTV) **Must View**
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFACrnTV58Y&feature=youtube_gdata_player **

There are now 10 more TADSAW Service Dog Teams

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service dogGood Morning!!!!  There are now 10 more TADSAW Service Dog Teams in the country and a Masonic Lodge award presented. But first things first.

TADSAW reached a milestone on May 6th, in North Carolina when Trainer Kim passed Brian & ABBY on their Public Access Temperament Test becoming TADSAW Service Dog Team TSD0250. Then on May 7th, in Chicago area, Trainer Cheralyn, formerly of the Camp Lejeune area, had similar PATT results with Team Andy & RED TSD0251.  And then on May 13th, it became a free-for-all to see where it would end!!! Starting off was Joey & SEVEN TSD0252 trained by Randy in Louisiana.

Then in San Antonio, Ricardo & MADDUX TSD0253; Audrey & CYMA  TSD0254; Michelle & PO TSD0255; Morgan & NICO TSD0256; Tom & AURORA TSD0257; Samantha & SIMON TSD0258; all trained by Brent.

And to round out the day, Brent & JASON TSD0259 in Oklahoma with trainer Vicki, also her first Team to be certified.

Just a brief note, both Service Dogs started their careers as rescue shelter residents, prior to meeting their Veterans. Andy & RED TSD0251 are the first graduates of the TADSAW program in Illinois and represent the 38th Vietnam Veteran to ‘finally return home’.

Congratulations to the 10 newest Service Dog Teams and Good Luck as they move forward with their life, their families, in their  neighborhoods and in their communities.

So far in 2014, TADSAW has 61 accredited Service Dog Teams, and more Teams in-training all over the Country – WOW!!! And since the beginnings in August 2010, there are now 259 different communities with a TADSAW Service Dog Team living and taking part. Now that is a big WOW!!

Moving on…. The Grand Masonic Lodge of Texas presented me with the Community Builder Award, on Saturday May 3rd,  in appreciation of distinguished service and personal contributions to the Community of San Antonio, Texas, with the founding of the TADSAW program, and the other communities served. This award was presented jointly by 4 Masonic Lodges in the San Antonio area. It was a very humbling experience and honor to accept the Award, as the true Builders of the community now have a canine ‘Battle Buddy‘ and can go back out and be productive. Joining me at the dinner was TADSAW co-founder Patsy Swendson, TADSAW Service Dog Teams Henry & KENZIE TSD0116, Ed & TC TSD0140 and Jimmy & SMOKY TSD0194, and Team Anthony & MACK (still in-training!!).  I appreciated their being with me on this special night and each one spoke about TADSAW in their own special way. I am still trying to figure out why the Masonic Lodges chose me!!!! And I accepted the Award on behalf of TADSAW and all of the wounded warriors in the program.

A sad note was conveyed to me, this past Saturday, prior to sending out this message.  I was informed that a San Antonio Veteran of the Afghanistan War, who was an Entered Apprentice Mason, had committed suicide without the benefit of learning more about programs that can save a Life. Did he fall thru the cracks?? NO, he was not provided enough options by the powers that be, the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs, to seek assistance for the Post Traumatic Stress  that consumed his life. Now, he will be remembered this holiday as one of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for Our Country at a time of War.

Each day the list grows longer of applications being sent out and completed ones being returned. The number of Disabled Veterans and Active Duty being added to the training list keeps increasing.  AND TADSAW needs your assistance NOW more than ever. Please remember TADSAW at this time of the year and make a donation to the program.

Twenty Two veterans die each day, and we all can make a difference, by giving to organizations, any organization, that assists Our Veterans.

Have a safe Holiday….

As always, I remain,

Bart Sherwood
Program Director – TADSAW, INC.
(210)643-2901
bart@tadsaw.org
**NEW BLOGSITE: www.tadsaw-wowmoments.org
**NEW VIDEOS: Therapy Dogs Heal Troops (UMTV)   **Must View**
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFACrnTV58Y&feature=youtube_gdata_player  **

4 Service Dogs Teams Accredited in Austin

service dogsGood Morning!!!! Finally, Spring 2014 has arrived, but Winter’s still showing up in some areas of the Country. March 2014 has been unbelievable, especially since my house guests have arrived, ALL 12 of them!!!! Well, this weekend 2 or 3 will be going to their foster homes to begin the journey towards Veterans’ Day 11-11 for the 11 puppies. Hopefully, this little ‘experiment’ will be successful and rewarding to the 11 Veterans and their families with their ‘Battle Buddy‘ candidates.   On March 20th, a special day for my Brother and Aunt and a Ft. Hood Trainer,  marked the accrediting of 4 TADSAW Service Dogs Teams in the Austin area, for a new Trainer with her first Teams. Sandhya was very proud of her Veterans and their ‘Battle Buddies’ as they ‘took’ the TADSAW Public Access Temperament Test (PATT) at the Cabela’s Outdoor World in Buda, Texas.  The bond between Veteran and Dog was an amazing sight. The TADSAW philosophy of “Together you train to hone your skills and Bond as a Team’ was truly evident. Please visit the Facebook page to see the Service Dogs Team’s photos.   Congratulations and Good Luck to those 4 Teams: Jeremy & WOODHOUSE TSD0225; Stacey & FANCY TSD0226; Floyd & LITTLE BIT TSD0227; and Billy & GIZMO TSD0228.

And Congratulations & Good Luck to the other Service Dogs Teams that passed the TADSAW PATT in Colorado a few days later. James Ryan & MIA TSD0229 with Trainer Jackie, and Noel & CHIEF TSD0230 with Trainer Joe, his first Service Dogs Team to graduate
Floyd & LITTLE BIT TSD0228 and Noel & CHIEF TSD0230 are the 37th and 38th Vietnam Veterans Teams, respectively, to come Home from the War.  Special Congratulations to both of them.   So far over 100 applications have been sent out during March, and over 60 have been completed and returned. At this rate, TADSAW could have over 1000 Service Dogs Teams in-training during 2014!!! WOW – and this is where I need to quote the Beatles, during their 50th anniversary arrival.
service dogsDuring the months of February and March, TADSAW had several donors that supported a Service Dogs Team or two or three or four. Thank You to the Stevens, the Harpers, the Stitchers, the North Carolina Church, the Colemans , the Raleigh Hot Cocoa Stand, and a Tennessee WalMart store to name a few.. But there were many, many small donations that combined to support a Service Dogs Team or Two!! And those are just as importantTOO!!!!   HELP, I NEED SOMEBODY…. HELP, NOT JUST ANYBODY…. HELP, YOU KNOW I NEED SOMEONE NOW!!! And hopefully that someone is YOU!!!!! It is going to take a lot of MONEY to be able to train all of these Service Dogs Teams, BUT, and there is always a BUT somewhere. But 1000 Service Dogs Teams represents almost 3 suicides daily among the Nation’s Veteran population. That could mean that in 2015, the statistics might drop to under 20 suicides daily!!!! Not just from TADSAW’s participation, but with every other Service Dogs organization being involved.   BUT, there’s that ‘nasty’ word again…..and the refrain becomes HELP. I NEED SOME MONEY…. HELP, NOT JUST ANY MONEY…HELP, I NEED SOME MONEY NOW!!!
Please help TADSAW with raising funds for all the Teams that are in-training, about to start training, and those that will be applying and starting in the next several months. It takes a village to raise a child, and it will take a Nation to save the lives of its wounded warriors and patriots.
So far, 4 puppies of the TADSAW ELEVEN have made their way into foster homes in preparation of the BIG DAY, November 11th “11-11“, when they will be paired with 11 Veterans to begin training for the TADSAW Service Dogs program. And that still is saving 22 lives!!!Over the next several week the remaining 7 puppies will be going to foster homes also, which will make me a very happy and relieved person.
You can follow the progress of the Fantastic ELEVEN on the Facebook page. Watch for photos of Ollie, Maverick, Major, Gunny, Bodie, Layla, Shadow, Luna, Abby, Sam and Val as they grow and nurture in the families preparing them for when duty calls.
Thank You all for your continued assistance and support of TADSAW.
Have a great week…….
As always, I remain,   Bart Sherwood Program Director – TADSAW, INC. (210)643-2901 bart@tadsaw.org **NEW BLOGSITE: www.tadsaw-wowmoments.org **NEW VIDEOS: Therapy Dogs Heal Troops (UMTV)   **Must View**  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFACrnTV58Y&feature=youtube_gdata_player  **