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,
Program Director – TADSAW, INC.
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