Helping Hoosier Veterans


This past week, Michael Barrentine, a former student of mine, asked me to speak at an event in Evansville for an organization called Soldier Dogs for Independence. Michael serves as the President for Solider Dogs for Independence, a nonprofit organization designed to help local veterans who live with physical and/or mental injuries. I personally know many veterans in the area and love to hear their stories of courage and strength while serving our country.

Solider Dogs, which is located in Evansville chooses dogs from local shelters that are available for adoption to enroll with their new owners in a 20 week training program. Veterans may also enroll their own dog with the organization’s approval. With the help of volunteers, veterans will train their dogs to provide services and help them lead their daily life. Not only can these dogs provide service, but also companionship. These dogs are capable of doing many day-to-day tasks and have potential to make life easier for veterans.  Tasks can include bringing a ringing phone or unloading towels from the dryer.

Solider Dogs goal is to “give freedom back to American heroes.” The cost to provide this training program ranges from $600 through $1000. The veteran does not pay any of these costs. These services would be impossible if it weren’t’ for donations from supporters. If you would like to make a monetary donation or donate dog treats, dog food, leashes, or collars please mail to Solider Dogs for Independence PO Box 6895 Evansville, IN 47719. You can also visit their website at

I recently learned of a letter writing campaign for World War II veterans taking place in Indiana. On May 10, the Honor Flight Network will fly 69 World War II veterans to Washington D.C., and as a thank you for their service, coordinators are working, to ensure that each veteran receives 10 letters to read.

A simple thank you card can go a very long way for these Hoosier veterans, if you would like to participate in this letter writing campaign you can send a store-bought card, handwritten letters and pictures drawn by children to:

Indy Honor Flight
ATTN: Mail Call
9093 S. SR 39
Mooresville, IN 46158

The salutation on each item should be “Dear Veteran” and should not be dated. These letters must be received by May 2nd in order for the veterans to receive them in time for the flight.

These organizations are working to honor our American heroes, so please join me in letting every veteran know how much we appreciate their service to our great nation.