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Warriors connect at BourBiz San Antonio 2019

 In Events, News, Service Dogs

This past week, the Paws for Purple Hearts (PPH) San Antonio Team had the honor of attending a huge Veteran and military spouse networking event called BourBiz.

What is BourBiz and how does it help Veterans?

In 2014, Scott Davidson and a few friends partnered with Veteran Success Resource Group (VSRG) to offer a “one-stop shop that connects Veterans with the knowledge, resources, and contacts they need to achieve success after service”; from there, BourBiz was born.

VSRG is an amazing non-profit organization that partners with BourBiz to host Veteran-focused expos across the United States. Admission to BourBiz is always free and aims to give Veterans not only the connections they need in a safe and casual environment, but the feeling of comradery they lost once they left the military. Resources offered to the Veterans hit multiple major need categories such as Hiring/Resume/Interview Improvement, Military Transition, Disability & Benefits Counseling, Health, Fitness & Wellness, and Building Mentor/Protégé Relationships.

There were some huge personalities in attendance at this year’s BourBiz in San Antonio. These  included White House Chef / Retired Army MSG Andre Rush, Paralympic deadlifting and bench press world record holder Army Veteran Omar “Crispy” Avila, Inspirational speaker and Retired Marine Lt. Col. Justin Constantine and 1st Phorm Elite Athlete Alex Zedra just to name a few.

What was BourBiz San Antonio 2019 like?

BourBiz was held at an industrial style complex named the Blue Star, which features many high-quality restaurants, art studios, breweries and retail shops. Multiple Veteran Service Organizations had booths and representatives ready and willing to assist any Veteran who came by.

An exciting night for Paws for Purple Hearts

Besides making multiple new connections within the Veteran community, meeting wonderful people (both civilian and military) who share our passion for helping out nation’s Warriors, and taking some super cute pictures of our Service Dogs in training, Paws for Purple Hearts was presented with a $5,000 donation from Rip It Energy Fuel, another one of BourBiz’s multiple partner organizations. Rip It has supported our troops both near and far since 2004. At this year’s BourBiz event, they hosted an exciting giveaway contest on Instagram called #20KonVetsDay. During this contest, people vote for their favorite Veteran Service Organization by posting shout outs through videos/pictures; the top 4 Veteran organizations received $5,000. Paws for Purple Hearts won first place thanks to all our supporters!

The Advancement Associate from PPH San Antonio accepts Rip It’s $5,000 donation for being 1 of the 4 top voted Veteran Service Organizations during their #RIPIT20KforVetsDay contest.
The Advancement Associate from PPH San Antonio accepts Rip It’s $5,000 donation for being 1 of the 4 top voted Veteran Service Organizations during their #RIPIT20KforVetsDay contest.

What does Paws for Purple Hearts do for our Warriors?

Paws for Purple Hearts is dedicated to improving the lives of America’s Warriors facing mobility challenges and trauma related conditions such as PTS and TBI by providing the highest quality Service Dogs and canine assisted therapeutic programs.

We provide a unique type of therapy called Canine Assisted Warrior Therapy® at multiple facilities around the USA such as the Austin VA Outpatient Clinic, Audie Murphy Memorial VA Hospital and the Brooke Army Medical Center’s Center for the Intrepid. During this therapy, our Program Instructors work one-on-one with groups of injured Warriors to teach the service-dogs-in-training commands needed for their future.

In addition to providing Service Dogs and Canine Assisted Warrior Therapy®, we also provide Facility Dogs and Specialist Therapy Dogs. Dog Obedience Training is available free of charge to Veterans/military members and their families, and aims to improve the quality of the humane-canine bond.

Program Instructor Erica poses with service dog in training Sergeant before BourBiz officially starts.
Program Instructor Erica poses with service dog in training Sergeant before BourBiz officially starts.

What can I do to help Veterans?

There are many ways you can help both Paws for Purple Hearts and Veterans in your community. We have many different volunteer opportunities that include general cleaning/maintenance, office duties, gardening, and “handy-man” tasks. Another fun opportunity we have to volunteer is by being a puppy parent. When you sign up to be a puppy parent, you can take one of our service-dogs-in-training home for the weekend or holiday! You will play an instrumental part in their socialization and development.

What’s Next?

We would like to thank all of our volunteers and supporters who help support our mission by donating items essential to our organization’s success, such as toys and pet products as well as monetary donations. Without your constant support and love, we would not be able to provide critical  Canine Assisted Warrior Therapy® to injured Veterans and Active-Duty Military members.

To see what events and activities are going on at our San Antonio location or in the Central and South Texas Region, check out our Facebook and Instagram pages or check out our national website for the latest updates. If you have any questions about Paws for Purple Hearts’ services or assistance dogs, please click here.

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