Weekly Military Information – 30 October 2014


Tuesday, 4 November – 11:00 am – Noon – University of South Florida Veterans Day Ceremony – USF Marshall Center Amphitheater with Keynote Speaker Medal of Honor Recipient MSG Leroy Petry.


Visit our weekly newsletters and military events on our website! We will archive past newsletters for your reference and maintain a calendar of events that are listed each week in the newsletters.

The link for the newsletters is: Weekly Military Information, and the direct link to the events calendar is: Events Calendar.



We are seeking your support for a joint holiday fundraiser to benefit the SGD Paws for Patriots Program. This event will be held on December 9, 2014 at The Centre Club in Tampa, FL. Your cash donation will directly benefit the SGD Paws for Patriots Program. Dr. Harris Silverman of The Eye Associates is a founding member of SGD and is working with our organization to raise money and awareness for this important cause. We also plan to hold a silent auction at our holiday event to benefit SGD’s Paws for Patriot Program.

Please visit our Auction Website at: http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=pcqzjhnab&oeidk=a07e9h9q17214285936 for bidding, auction information, and announcements prior to the event. We thank you in advance for your support! For more information contact Denise Ennis at ennisd@pragmatics.com

The Greater Tampa Bay chapters of WID and NDIA have set the goal to raise $50,000 at this event to allow us to sponsor ten veterans to attend the 10-day training regimen. Dr. Silverman and The Eye Associates have pledged to match donations for the first $15,000! Your business will be featured as a supporter of the SGD Paws for Patriots Program at our holiday event on December 9, 2014! Any amount you can contribute would be appreciated and will go directly to sponsor training of a veteran. Following graduation from the training program, SGD will share photographs and biographies on each guide dog team that was sponsored through the funds raised at our holiday event. WID/NDIA is a 501(c)(3) entity; your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

The mission of the Paws for Patriots Program is to create and nurture a partnership between visually impaired or combat weary veterans and a guide dog, facilitating life’s journey with mobility, independence and dignity. SGD has been matching the visually impaired with guide dogs for over 30 years, and is accredited by the International Guide Dog Federation. SGD also trains and places exceptional dogs not suitable for guide work into careers benefiting veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD). SGD dogs are trained to form a physical barrier between the handler and surrounding people, bringing a calming effect against perceived threats. They provide a warm, physical presence to help mitigate stress reactions. Gaining confidence from these dogs, veterans expand their lives, regain independence and re-integrate into their communities.

There are currently 80 combat veterans on the waiting list to attend class at SGD’s campus in Palmetto, Florida. I am writing to you regarding an opportunity to sponsor a veteran to come to the school and receive a veteran service dog. While the students are at the facility, they will each be matched with a guide dog selected just for them. SGD’s professional training staff will teach each student how to handle their veteran service dog. They begin by training on campus, and gradually move to residential streets, city streets, and even the Tampa airport. SGD’s support continues when they return home, to ensure their success as a team. SGD graduates report that having a guide dog allows them to walk confidently, to be more independent, and to enjoy more freedom. Caring for their dog restores a sense of rhythm, encouraging PTSD sufferers to emerge from withdrawal for exercise and the outdoors. This is all made possible through generous donations, and is available to our graduates at no cost. Information on the Paws for Patriots Program can be found here: http://www.guidedogs.org/apply/paws-for-patriots.