As you may know, Guide Dogs for the Blind was founded to help wounded servicemen who would return from World War II without their sight. Reaching out to and serving veterans is still a vital part of our program today.
A great example of our outreach efforts to veterans came just at the end of October when we held a "GDB Lifestyles Workshop" at the Nevada Department of Rehabilitation in its Services for the Blind division in Reno. Lifestyle workshops are offered to people who are interested in exploring the option of getting a Guide Dog for mobility.
The event drew more than seventy greater Reno-area participants, including many veterans. Entrepreneur and Guide Dog handler Mark Berry set the tone with coffee that he roasted and brewed from his company Blind Dog Coffee. Eight local GDB puppy raisers came with their pups, and everyone who wanted a chance to experience a "Juno walk" was able to take advantage of that opportunity (a walk with a person simulating the work of a Guide Dog). GDB ambassador dog Nina was also on hand to provide guided walks with a dog as well.
These lifestyle workshops are a way for us to connect with our history by meeting current-day veterans that could benefit from our services. So on this Veterans Day, we honor our past, salute those that have served and continue to serve our country, and strive to make a difference in the lives of veterans well into the future.