Letter from Steve, Executive Director January 2017

Friends,

I want to start this New Year by thanking all of you for all the work you have done for VSD this year, and more importantly for helping our veterans. We’ve accomplished a lot in a few short months! Some of our accomplishments and highlights include:

  • A great website and Facebook page. Thank you to my wife Kim, and Sterling and Josh at Modernize My Site for working together to get it up and running.
  • A successful first year participant in IndyGive! Thank you Sara Simon for all your help getting us in.
  • Our awesome VSD logo, thanks to Jerry Brown. He has generously contributed time, financial resources, and creative input. He is a true friend of Victory Service Dogs!
  • A great partnership with TREA, The Enlisted Association. Our heartfelt thanks to Bernice Barrett for all her support and fundraising help.
  • Our friendship with Petsmart! Thank you Charles Rolater and the Petsmart management for supporting VSD, donating hundreds of dollars worth of items, and for allowing us to fundraise at their stores.
  • A great event at Rocky Mountain Brewery in July! Thank you C.J. for all his efforts and support in making it a successful fundraiser.
  • Many successful fundraising events! Thank you Scott Frazee for taking the leadership role and coordinating our fundraising efforts! Thanks to Drew and Don for your help as well.
  • The forming of a working and dedicated Board of Directors! Thanks to Adam Baker for his role as Board President, Don Martin Vice President, Drew Pearson Treasurer, and Sara Simon Secretary.
  • Welcoming Jay Magee as advisor and mentor to our management team. Thank you Jay, for your selfless help, support, and ongoing counsel!
  • The support of our local media in helping to get our story out. We had some awesome interviews and community interest. Thank you Travis Nelson for telling your story! Your role as Veteran Liaison for VSD is invaluable – thank you!
  • The addition of Chris Spielhegen as Project Manager. We are excited about what he brings to the organization, already investing countless hours of time and energy! Thank you Chris
  • Our participation in the Colorado Springs Veteran Parade was an honor! Thank you Lonny Barrett for inviting us to be there, and to Travis, Stanley, and Adam for walking and representing VSD.
  • We welcome Clare and T.J. as our newest volunteers, and look forward to working closely with them.

We are so grateful and proud of our partnership with All Breed Rescue and Training, and the dedication and selfless contributions of Lauren Fox, Executive Director and head Trainer. Her integrity, standards of excellence, and commitment to our veterans are truly amazing. We thank all the staff who work tirelessly on behalf of the dogs they rescue, and all they do for VSD. Together, we have placed 26 dogs with veterans, and these teams are in various stages of training. We are also providing training for another 20 veterans who want to certify their own dogs through ABRT’s service dog program.

Thank you all for helping the vision of Victory Service Dogs become a reality! With your continued commitment, I have no doubt VSD will become a world-class organization!

In Gratitude,

Stephen J. Corey

Executive Director, Victory Service Dogs

 

FOX21NEWS reports on Victory Service Dogs

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — FOX21 News and the Colorado Springs Independent are teaming up once again for this year’s Give campaign and Victory Service Dogs is one local organization who could use a little extra help.

“He’s really kind of helped me,” said Travis Nelson, a U.S. Army veteran and veteran liaison with Victory Service Dogs. “He’s given me a purpose to get out of bed everyday.”

At no cost, Victory Service Dogs provides service dogs and the necessary training to local veterans.

“When you get out of the military, a lot of soldiers and veterans have trouble with that because they don’t have that structure anymore so when you get back into civilian life, you’re kind of just tossed out to kind of like hey figure it out yourself,” said Nelson.

“A lot of our guys have a hard time just getting out of their house or apartment so a service dog really helps them to get out,” said Steve Corey, the executive director of Victory Service Dogs.

For veterans who struggle with PTSD, memory issues, depression or social anxiety, service dogs like Joey are there to provide comfort and help.

“He gives me a sense of purpose,” said Nelson. “I know I have to get up in the morning, I know i have to go let him outside, I know that we’re probably going to go for a walk outside. I know that if I have errands I have to go run,  he’ll come with me.”

“You quit focusing on yourself so much,” said Corey. “You have the dog to take care of. You have to worry about the dog and the training, It’s constant.”

Nelson says the companionship that his service dog provides is similar to that of the one he found in his nine years serving in the Army.

“You can’t do it alone,” he said.  “When you’re in the military, whether it be Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard even, you had buddies by your side.”

“We have over 200,000 veterans in our area and it’s a huge need and the dogs make a big difference and it’s very doable to make that happen,” said Corey.

>> Learn more and Give! at indygive.com.

 

VSD Client Photos

Victory Service Dog PhotoShoot!

Some great shots from the VSD photo shoot – Rogue, Tucker, Mocha and their humans 🙂  

Photos by Lizz NIckell at Smile for a Nickel Photography.

Coverage From The 2nd Annual Vets! Pets! Brew! Fundraising Event at Rocky Mountain Brewery.


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.– Service dogs are often a great help to our veterans returning home from duty, but often times, they’re tough to afford.

That’s why ‘Victory Service Dogs’ puts together annual events to raise money to help our heroes.

On Friday, the 2nd Annual Vets! Pets! Brew! fundraising event at Rocky Mountain Brewery was held.

The proceeds will be used to unite veterans with service dogs for free.

Sean Banks, who served in the Army for 7 years, got to meet his new service dog Neala for the first time at the event.

They will be training together in the next few weeks, and he says he couldn’t be happier to finally have her in his arms.

“It’s amazing. She’s such a great animal, and I really couldn’t afford to get a pup like this on my own without their help,” Banks said. “She’s adorable and she’s just the biggest sweetheart. I can’t wait to train with her.”

Along with drinks for the adults, the event also offered homemade sodas for the kids and special dog beer for the pets.