Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Sierra Delta Faces Snoop Dogg's Special Stars in Flag Football

 By John Turney 
Sierra Delta Football team

Moments ago BJ Ganem the founder and CEO of Sierra Delta: Service Dogs for Veterans gave a pep talk to the Sierra Delta football team that was going to face Snoop Dogg's Special Stars, his youth special needs football team letting them know about their day's plan—letting the above pictured men and women know the details of the day but to also thank them for traveling to Los Angeles for this charitable event but to also to let them know the potential good this game will do. 

"Playing flag football against NFL greats before the biggest football game of the year is a dream come true for veterans like myself," Ganem. "Having the ability to share in the experience with the kids of Snoop Special Stars makes these flag football games even more special."

The Snoop Special Stars is the Special Needs division of the Snoop Youth Football League founded by entertainment icon, Snoop Dogg. Servicing all participants, ages 5 years and older, with any physical, mental, and or developmental disabilities. Says Snoop, "Our motto is EveryBODY Plays!"

The North American Motor Car Company is sponsoring a football game with Snoop Dogg's youth team as they have in the past—previously known as the Wounded Warrior Amputee Flag Football Team.

It is a game to raise awareness for the need for service dogs not only for wounded warriors but all veterans. Confirmed Guests scheduled to appear include Kurt Warner (HOF), Joe Delamiellure (HOF), Pat Williams, Byron Chamberlain, Jim McMahon, Kenny Mayne, Adam Carolla, Zion Clark, and many more

Then men and women of Sierra Delta fought for their country and lost much. Limbs, health, but they did not lose dignity nor courage. They have all worked their way back to relative health and part of that process includes trained service dogs and they want to spread that word.

"Sierra Delta empowers every Veteran with access to approved dog training that provides purpose, innovation and community through the love of dogs."

As their website states their philosophy is inclusive to all veterans—
"We’re revolutionizing the “service dogs for Veterans” model. EVERY dog provides a service, and the reasons and purpose for obtaining a dog are individual and unique to every owner. The mission of Sierra Delta is to empower American Military Veterans by developing a powerful bond with their dog & their community. 

With a comprehensive Veteran-centric methodology, we thrive on utilizing a "strengths-based" approach to assist Veterans and their dogs with our Life Buddy program, or introducing them to our Service Dog Academy partners if their needs are greater. Our goal is to work with our Veterans to empower themselves through the love of dogs.

You do not need to have a disability or a specific need to be in a Sierra Delta program with a dog."

 Again, according to their website they have tow programs, one for trained service dogs and one for "life buddies"—

"Full-Access Service Dogs are specifically trained to go everywhere with a Veteran, including places that do not allow dogs. We partner with Service Dog Academies across the country to provide this service. After graduation, we continue the support through our Life Buddy Program for the life of the Veteran Dog team.

Limited-Access Life Buddies are trained to a Veteran’s specific needs with access anywhere dogs are welcome."

It was moving to see these men an women collect in the lobby the Mariott and prepare for their game. It can be nothing but humbling for someone like myself who did not serve to see these vets and what they gave physically and emotionally. 

To them, they did what they chose to do, what they loved and paid a high price. But no pity is needed, no reason to feel sorrow. They just want to send the message to all vets that help through dogs is available.

We'd encourage all readers to donate to this non-profit or even let a veteran in their lives know about Sierras Delta and perhaps a service dog or a lifetime buddy is for them. I know we will pass the word and the plate. 

Here are suggestions as to how you can help:  Create a campaign or buy some merch from their online store. 

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