LETTER TO THE CCO EDITOR: “SHEEP DOGS” THE VOLUNTEERS OF DISASTER STRICKEN AREAS

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by Christopher MacKay
Team Leader, Southern Indiana Team
Sheep Dog Impact Assistance
When someone mentions the word Sheep Dog, your mind most likely goes to the Canine. Imagine the Sheep Dog watching over the flock. Well, that’s the same as the First Responders, Veterans, and Military. They are our nations “Sheep Dogs”, watching over us keeping us safe from any harm that may come to light.
Sheep Dog Impact Assistance (SDIA) is the kind of organization that takes care of our nations protecters. “Sheep Dogs” provide opportunities that foster Camaraderie and teamwork that they miss after a tour of duty or end of service.
SDIA accomplishes this by deploying members and volunteers to disaster stricken areas. The desire to serve, and help people in need awakens a sense of purpose again and keeps your head in a positive mindset. At Sheep Dog we believe that “Helping Others is a Way of Life.”
We want to keep our Sheep Dogs engaged so when there isn’t a disaster we take Veterans and First Responders on outdoor adventures. We do Hunting, fishing, skydiving, scuba diving, and much more that really helps in bringing that positive attitude accompanied by teamwork building. For those that have been wounded or injured in the line of duty it helps them in their rehabilitation process to boost your self confidence.
I was in a dark place and decided that there was just nothing left in this world and I thought it would be better off if i wouldn’t burden anyone with my problems or worries. I simply wanted to blink out of existence.
Luckily my wife realized that i was in a state of deep depression and that I lashing out and begging to get help. I went to the local Vet Center seeking help. I took a deep breath and walked in the counsler office and our sessions began. He ask me the right questions but I still felt lost. He recommended that I consider taking a trip for veterans in Yellowstone and said he think it might be beneficial for me. I took him up on his offer.
I got on the plane to Yellowstone lost but came back knowing exactly what I needed to do. It was obvious that the staff at Sheep Dogs cares. The fellowship and the camaraderie that was present overflowed my heart. After that trip I wanted to make sure that every Veteran and First Responder I came across that may be in the position can get the help like I did.  So I reached out to  another brother that I met on the trip and said, “We have to start a local Sheep Dog team”.  We had meeting and talked with the the organization founder, Sgt Maj Lance Nutt and he set us up as a team.
I was an Airborne Infantry Grunt for 10 years. I deployed overseas with a LRS Company. We operated deep into enemy territory and relayed enemy movements without being detected, which is a feat thats not that easy in a desert. We conducted clandestine operations all over Iraq. “In Orbe Terrum Non Visi” the LRS motto which means “All over the World, Unseen.”
I wanted this type of life again. The mission planning, the organizing, the mission completion satisfaction. It was all there.
I received a head injury and my life for many years seemed broken, distorted and  I couldn’t get a grip. The doctors told me to go home and sit on the couch. Ironically a decade later I would find an organization who’s motto is #GetofftheCouch.
My need to serve is now being filled and I now have the desire to help Veterans and First Responders feel the way this organization makes me feel and Sheep Dogs gives me that.
My wife has seen that Sheep Dog has helped me and has joined in to help me with my scheduling of meetings. She’s such a blessing! She keeps me on task.
Sheep Dog accomplish their goals by receiving donations and funding from the public, local businesses, and sponsors. So if you know anyone that can help us in our journey let us know!
Christopher MacKay
Team Leader, Southern Indiana Team
Sheep Dog Impact Assistance
812-664-8915SHeepdog
FOOTNOTE: The staff of the City-County Observer would like to thank Christopher MacKay for his service.