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story.lead_photo.caption WALK REMEMBERS VETERANS Sheep Dog Impact Assistance members, including Michael Nimmo (center), begin the Carry the Load walk on Saturday May 23 2020 at Lake Bella Vista to remember fallen veterans over Memorial day and every day of the year. Carry the Load is a national effort to bring all Amercans and veterans groups together to honor veterans each day. Sheep Dog Impact Assistance members normally place flags on the graves of veterans at the Fayetteville National Cemetery, but the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has ordered that no flag placements or public ceremonies are to be held at any national cemetery over Memorial Day weekend this year. The walk was an alternative remembrance, said Kay Ricker with Sheep Dog Impact Assistance. The group has chapters in several states, Ricker said. Many of the 50 or so walkers carried flags and wore backpacks emblazoned with the names of veterans. The walk began at the Veterans Wall of Honor at Lake Bella Vista. Walkers visited the memorial during the event. Go to nwaonline.com/200524Daily/ to see more photos. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Flip Putthoff)

Sheep Dog Impact Assistance had planned to mark a decade of service Aug. 15, but organizers made the decision to postpone the in-person anniversary celebration until May 1. However, on Aug. 25, the nonprofit organization will play host to an online event, "Sheep Dog IA 10th Anniversary Salute" -- a day of looking back at 10 years of service."

Supporters are encouraged to log in that day on the group's Facebook page, @SheepDogIA, for live video from 8 to 8:30 a.m., noon to 12:30 p.m. and 7 to 8 p.m. "to hear from Sheep Dog program participants who have experienced life change." An online silent auction to benefit the group at SDIA10.givesmart.com opened last week and will remain live through the conclusion of the anniversary salute at 8 p.m Aug. 25.

Throughout the last 10 years, Rogers nonprofit Sheep Dog Impact Assistance (SDIA) has had the honor and privilege of engaging, assisting and empowering our nation's Sheep Dogs – Veterans and First Responders – who willingly put their lives on the line for us every day. With the generous support of their donors, members and sponsors, SDIA has helped more than 3,000 of these heroes "Get Off The Couch" and reengage in living an active, meaningful and productive life since its founding in 2010, Rose Corscadden, communications director, tells me.

"I am incredibly grateful for the support of our communities, sponsors, donors, staff, leadership and members," says founder and CEO, retired Marine Sgt. Maj. Lance Nutt, " We see positive change in every participant during our Disaster Response Missions and Outdoor Adventures, and often hear from participants who had been contemplating suicide, but by being with fellow Sheep Dogs, they realized that they are not alone in their struggles. This confirms what we know -- by gathering together Sheep Dogs who have suffered similar traumas and experiences, the camaraderie and peer support they receive fosters healing, and their attitude, motivation and perspective are drastically improved. This can be a catalyst for them to create the positive change needed to live their best lives."

Corscadden adds that since 2010, the group has had a "tremendous impact in the lives of our nation's heroes." They have deployed 1,271 members and volunteers on 63 Disaster Response Missions and have assisted 12,583 people recover from tornadoes, hurricanes and flooding. During the covid-19 pandemic, the nonprofit organization assisted 36,275 people by delivering food, water, masks and necessities to people in need and transported 201,325 lbs of donated food to food pantries for distribution.

In between Disaster Response Missions, they have kept 1,756 Sheep Dogs engaged and active through 144 Outdoor Adventures, including trips to New York City and Yellowstone National Park, as well as trips to hunt, fish, hike, skydive, compete in obstacle course races and more. During past holiday seasons, SDIA has also assisted more than 6,200 Sheep Dogs and their families by providing Thanksgiving meals, Christmas gifts for their children and gift cards for First Responders.

For more event photos -- nwadg.com/photos/society.

Columnist Carin Schoppmeyer can be reached by email at [email protected]

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NWA Democrat-Gazette/CARIN SCHOPPMEYER Matthew Melencon and Nicole Roundy (from left) and Sarah and Sgt. Maj. Lance Nutt, Sheep Dog Impact Assistance founder and president, welcome guests to the group's charity ball April 22 at the John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers.
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WALK REMEMBERS VETERANS Todd Nicely (left), a Marine Corps veteran, is recognized by Sgt. Maj. Lance Nutt, Marine Corps retired, on Saturday May 23 2020 during Nutt's opening remarks at the Carry the Load walk at Lake Bella Vista. Sheep Dog Impact Assitance, based in Rogers and founded by Nutt, held the walk to remember fallen veterans on Memorial Day and every day. Carry the Load is a national effort to bring all Amercans and veterans groups together to honor veterans each day. Sheep Dog Impact Assistance members normally place flags on the graves of veterans at the Fayetteville National Cemetery, but the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has ordered that no flag placements or public ceremonies are to be held at any national cemetery over Memorial Day this year. The walk was an alternative remembrance, said Kay Ricker with Sheep Dog Impact Assistance. The group has chapters in several states, Ricker said. Many of the 50 or so walkers carried flags and wore backpacks emblazoned with the names of veterans. Go to nwaonline.com/200524Daily/ to see more photos. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Flip Putthoff)
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RUCK MARCH CELEBRATION Jeremy McCauley (left) of Rogers gets help with his 40-pound pack Saturday June 27 2020 from Chris Walter of Bentonville before their team heads out on the Sheep Dog Impact Assistance 10th Anniversary Ruck March in Bentonville. The event celebrated 10 years of assistance to veterans and law enforcement since the organization was founded. Sheep Dog Impact Assistance headquarters are in Rogers, with chapters located around the nation. There was a 10-kilometer and 3-kilometer ruck march, plus walking, running and cycling events. Go to nwaonline.com/200628Daily/ to see more photos. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Flip Putthoff)
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NWA Democrat-Gazette/BEN GOFF -- 02/14/15 U.S. Army Sgt. Matthew Melancon of San Antonio, Texas talks about his experience being injured while serving in Afghanistan in 2011 during the Sheep Dog Impact Assistance 3rd Annual Charity Ball at the Embasy Suites in Rogers on Saturday Feb. 14, 2015. Melancon, who suffered severe injuries to his feet and ankles in the blast, talked about his process of physical and emotional recovery after ultimately having both legs amputated below the knee.
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FRONT LINE SUPPLIES Rob Beidleman with Sheep Dog Impact Assistance delivers Wednesday May 6 2020 first-responder protective equipment including gloves, masks, face shields and protective suits to a Benton County emergency services vehicle. Sheep Dog Impact Assistance, headquartered in Rogers, has been soliciting monetary and first-responder protectivce equipment donations for five weeks for distribution in Benton and Washington Counties. Supplies delivered on Wednesday was the second round of donations, said Michael Nimmo with Sheep Dog. They will be handed out primarily to rural fire departments in both counties, said Michael Waddle, director of Benton County emergency management. Sheep Dog Impact Assistance continues to accept donations at the Sheep Dog website, sheepdogia.org. Donations can also be made at the Rogers Police Department, Springdale Fire Station No. 1 and Fayetteville Fire Station No. 1. Go to nwaonline.com/200507Daily/ to see more photos. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Flip Putthoff)
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NWA Democrat-Gazette/CARIN SCHOPPMEYER Texarkana Police Department Cpl. Les and Allison Munn attend the Sheepdog charity ball. Cpl. Munn was recognized by the group as this year's Law Enforcement Sheep Dog of the Year.
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NWA Democrat-Gazette/CARIN SCHOPPMEYER Cpl. Sebastian Gallegos stands with Janie Lingo at the Sheep Dog charity ball. Gallegos was the guest speaker for the benefit.
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STAFF PHOTO FLIP PUTTHOFF SHEEP DOG CHRISTMAS GIFTS Clay Dodson, right, arranges Christmas gifts for children on Saturday during the Sheep Dog Impact Assistance Christmas program on Saturday Dec. 20 2014 at the Center for Nonprofits in Rogers. Members of Sheep Dog Imact Assistance helps families of military, law enforcement and fire service members who need assistance during the holidays and through the year, said Shain Scott with Sheep Dog. The event featured lunch, craft making and Christmas gifts for children.
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At a Glance

Sheep Dog IA 10th Anniversary Salute

Who: Sheep Dog Impact Assistance

What: The group will host “a day of looking back at 10 years of service.”

When: 8-8:30 a.m., noon-12:30 p.m. and 7-8 p.m Aug. 25

Where: Facebook @SheepDogIA

Information: (417) 812-6035 or email [email protected]

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