TAMPA, FL November 24, 2014 – Nearly 20 percent of veterans from Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and estimates as of 2012 show more than 50,000 were wounded. Supporting veterans and thanking them for their service was a driving force for the Greater Tampa Bay chapter of Women In Defense (WID GTB) to partner with Paws for Patriots, a program of the Southeastern Guide Dogs, this holiday.
“We set a tough goal for ourselves because these men and women deserve it,” says Trudy Daniels, president of the WID GTB. The chapter aims to raise $50,000 at their annual holiday fundraiser to sponsor ten visually impaired or combat weary veterans to receive a guide dog and attend training at the Palmetto, Florida facility.
The silent auction fundraiser will be held on December 9 at 5 p.m. at The Center Club in Tampa. Retired Lt. Col. Kathy Champion, a local Army veteran and PTSD sufferer, was rendered blind as a result of her service and will be on hand to talk about her own experience. She credits her dogs with bringing her back into a full and active life, and has dedicated herself to helping others through the program.
“There’s no better fit for our mission than to partner with Paws for Patriots,” Daniels explains. “These guide dogs take away the disability and make almost anything possible for these veterans.”
For more information about the next WID GTB Get Informed event, please contact Susan Allen, WID GTB membership director, at 813-446-7831, or visit http://bit.ly/1xGjNXU.
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Women In Defense is an affiliate of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA), which represents all facets of the defense and technology industrial base and serves all military services. This affiliation gives WID members a source for defense industry information, increased networking opportunities and professional contacts, and an expanded scope of informative programs.
Southeastern Guide Dogs’ “Paws for Patriots” program pairs visually impaired veterans with guide dogs, veteran assistance dogs with soldiers suffering from PTSD and facility therapy dogs at military medical facilities to provide support and encouragement.