Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas

At first glance I have to admit this has been a tough few months for myself and the Phyfe family as a whole.  In reality it really has not been all that different then life in general.  We have amazing friends and family around us that every time something comes up that attempts to challenge daily life they seem to make it possible for us to get through it without a scratch.  I am sure I do not say thank you enough to everyone but I could not do it without each and everyone of you that I come in contact with.

The month of November was a whirlwind of traveling around New England.  I was allowed to visit a couple schools and what a blessing to be able to share with them the need to help other Veterans in whatever way they could.  Many of the children had a great time learning about Service Dogs especially Iris.  One school had a Veterans Day Celebration that I will admit was one of the best experiences I had been allowed to attend.  The grade 1 through 8 kids put together a tribute that had tears in my eyes in the way they did their research and then presented it to the community.  I know the other Veterans and guest present felt the same way.  I thank them for reminding me again why I served in our military proudly.

I was also blessed to be allowed back into one of the prison sites where Americas VetDogs has a training program.  To see the effect the dogs and program have on the community behind the walls shows me how much of a difference these dogs make in helping restore peoples lives even before they get to their final homes.  It makes such a difference in so many lives I can only hope that others will attempt to get involved in some way.  Please remember to check out my ongoing donation page at http// where you will be able to make a difference in so many lives through a donation.

On Veterans day I was honored to take part in Framingham Ma celebration.  They had a very touching wreath laying ceremony and then a very informational program where they were able to Showcase the work the town has been able to do with the Veterans programs and the two Prison Facilities in their town.  Many veterans came out and from what I have heard since have been able to get great information on how they can get help or get involved in helping  in a number of different programs offered.

You may notice I am lacking my normal use of pictures this edition.  For those that have not heard the month of November was a tough month for my Photography when I had my main bag of camera gear stolen.  For those that have heard about that I did get my homeowners to help out and have just gotten a new camera and hope to start getting pictures again soon.

The month of Nov and Dec were tough when it comes to medical issues also.  I was having some internal bleeding issues so the doctors did some probing around, no I was not in the navy so I will not say that was fun.  While in there they took a few biopsies and also fixed the bleeding which is being caused by some severe diverticulitis.  The same timeframe the doctors diagnosed me with some skin cancer which is being handled with MOHS surgery instead of radiation.  I opted for that route in hopes to be able to be on the Cruise Jen and I had scheduled for Feb.

So that about updates everyone as to where I have been hiding.  I am still out trying to do what I can but have had to slow down a little to allow for some rest.  If there is anything I can do to help please feel free to let me know.

“The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that its center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.” 
― Black Elk

Monday, November 4, 2013

Snapshots of Change

Good morning everyone!

I know that I have been less then regular when it comes to writing in the blog especially lately.  With the seasons changing and some health issues the travel time has fallen off to some day trips and not much camping.  I hope that this will change soon once I get the new truck rigged up for the Truck Camper.

As always here is the info on the fundraising page for VetDogs Attention: I have a Personal Fundraising Page for VetDogs Now! Please follow this link and make a donation to help another veteran like me get a service dog like mine.  We have raised over 10k so far through this page and I am hoping to hit the 20k mark before the end of 2014.  Thank you all for the donations please let your friends and family know.

Yes that is right I said new truck!!!  The first New Vehicle that I have ever personally owned.  Who would have ever thought that I would have gone out and waited until I was 50 to make a purchase like this.  The timing was right and everything fell into place.  So what did I get?  Well I traded in the 2006 Tacoma with 113,000 miles on it and got a 2014 Toyota Tundra.

So now the not so funny story that goes along with trade day on the truck.  It actually started the Sunday prior I had gone out to shoot family pictures for my church so they could have a picture directory.  I had loaded up my lights and gear in the back of the Tacoma that Sunday morning and of course being me did it without waking anyone in the house.  Yes I pulled a muscle which was a stupid move but not unlike me to be a bonehead stubborn fool.  I did ask for help when loading things back up to get home and unloading when getting home.

The downside to this process was that I did not follow up and make sure that everything was in the house nor did I lock the doors to the truck.  Something when you live in the countryside was a normal occurrence.  I did not take the truck out on Mon (still hurting) so Tue morning I went out to find that someone had riffled through all the vehicles and liberated my camera bag which was in the cab not the back where the family had grabbed the rest of the gear. Again this was all my fault I have left my bag out there many times knowing I would want to take sunrise shots or sunset shots.  Lazy is my middle name.  So the bottom line the crooks made off with over 10k in value of camera gear.

Now let's talk about the important stuff.  Since I last wrote Iris and I have had some travel free time but for a couple short trips.  One of those trips was a great day trip into NYC to visit the USS Intrepid.  We even had our first ride on the Acella train which for those that have never had the opportunity to is a great ride.  It is not as fast and smooth as the bullets in Europe or Japan but for a train that rides on the old tracks shared with the old trains I take my hat off.

Once we arrived in the city we caught a cab and made our way down to the waterfront to the Intrepid.  I will mention that this was one of the best times ever getting a cab in the city with Iris. In the past I have experienced cabs ignoring us because they did not want to have a dog in the cab with them which is against the law but very hard to prove.  Getting a cab down at Penn Station was just the opposite when we got into the line I actually felt bad because we were pulled out of the normal line and brought to the front of the line and had the next cab hailed for us.  Bravo to the City if this is how they are treating all of their disabled now.

The reason we were at the Intrepid was to speak at one of their many educational programs the museum  runs.  The Guide Dog Foundation and America's VetDogs supplied 4 people to speak on a panel where we discussed Service and Guide Dogs and what they mean to us.  We also had one of the Trainers there with a 1 year old pup to talk about the training side of things.  The children we spoke to seemed to love hearing about the dogs and what they do and hopefully we have helped get the word out to more young people who are really the ones who help spread the word the best in my opinion.  After we were done speaking we got a tour of the Enterprise Shuttle which unless you have been up close to you really would have trouble imagining how large it really is.
 Over the past month Iris and I have also been very involved in a number of Veteran memorials to include a Beirut Bombing March that was done all over the country and tallied on the internet.  We did a ceremony in Putnam CT at the Veterans Memorial and the actual date.  It was extremely moving and I thank Kat Voght for putting so much time and effort into making that happen.  We also took part in a Grenada Memorial which was especially interesting for me since it was the first live action I ever saw and made me feel real old.  Hard to believe that time passes so quickly sometimes.

Over the next week please take a moment to thank a veteran, Veterans Day is coming up and it is a busy time for Iris and I.  We will be doing one school visit on Thursday in CT then Fri we will be speaking at one of the prisons that helps train Service Dogs for America's VetDogs.  Monday Iris and I will be at the Town of Framingham MA to speak at their Veteran's Day Celebration.

 As always here is the info on the fundraising page for VetDogs Attention: I have a Personal Fundraising Page for VetDogs Now! Please follow this link and make a donation to help another veteran like me get a service dog like mine.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Falling down on the writing

Yes it appears that the Fall has come and the writing has slowed down.  That does not necessarily mean that Iris and I have stopped doing things it just means that I have been less then stellar at staying on top of this blog world.  So for any of you out there that may follow this (there are a few according to the reports) I hope to get better at updating things here.

As always here is the info on the fundraising page for VetDogs Attention: I have a Personal Fundraising Page for VetDogs Now! Please follow this link and make a donation to help another veteran like me get a service dog like mine.

I guess the main issues we have been tackling over the past couple weeks have been personal in nature.  My daughter had her first major accident 2 weeks ago and that really did not go over well in my world. She is 19 but she will always be my baby and well when you become the filler of the sandwich in the accident it is just not fun times for anyone.  Needless to say the first week we dealt with the medical and insurance issues trying to get as much done as we could while she was on a weeks break from New England Tech.  Yes we are blessed that the accident happened on the last day of her 1st semester there and she was able to finish the exam she missed and still keep a 4.0 GPA.  Proud dad Yeppers!

So, bottom line is that other then some bumps and bruises at this point Mel is feeling much better still a bit nervous behind the wheel but driving and back in school.  Last night we finally found a car that she loves and can afford so she put a downpayment on it and hopes to have it on the road by tomorrow or Saturday at the latest.

Now the travels of Iris and I.  We have been busy with some side effects from my new meds that as of today's trip to Boston will have me back in the hospital for some exploratory work to be done.  The new meds are still working better then we could have ever wished for after having fought with other meds for so long.  According to the information downloaded today from my onboard computer stuff, I have not had a recorded event in over 3 months.  That is great news believe you me.....

Iris and I have been out and about a bit but our travels have all been short and sweet trips with no more than one overnight.  My camera has filed a lawsuit against me for negligence but I promise with the leaves changing I hope to get that changed ASAP.

As always here is the info on the fundraising page for VetDogs Attention: I have a Personal Fundraising Page for VetDogs Now! Please follow this link and make a donation to help another veteran like me get a service dog like mine.

One project that I feel the need to mention is the Grillie project.  The CEO has been so great at trying to find ways to help out my cause of record VetDogs and wants to work with others out there too.  I have spent some time brainstorming with him on some great ways to help get the word out there prior to all the mess happing around the home front.  I hope to have more info for anyone interested in this great product and a chance to either help out their own cause or a great cause like VetDogs.  Let me know I will pass on the info to you.

Upcoming events:

Sunday - There is an event to support Veterans here in CT that I will be going to in New Britain.  You can email me or check out my Facebook for more info on this one.


On the 24th Iris & I will be in NYC at the Intrepid speaking to students about service dogs and veterans.  This is a VetDogs event and should be a great way to let young people know more about how service dogs help out in so many different ways.

November is a busy month with Veterans Day and at this point I know of a couple events that I will be at one of which is a repeat from last year.  It was a great event last year interacting with the inmates in Framingham that help work with the some of the dogs that become service dogs for VetDogs.  To see how these animals not only change the lives of the inmates and atmosphere but also see how the inmates get a new feel for our nations veterans is beyond words.  

As always here is the info on the fundraising page for VetDogs Attention: I have a Personal Fundraising Page for VetDogs Now! Please follow this link and make a donation to help another veteran like me get a service dog like mine.

Monday, September 23, 2013

First Full Day of Fall ALREADY???

As always here is the info on the fundraising page for VetDogs Attention: I have a Personal Fundraising Page for VetDogs Now! Please follow this link and make a donation to help another veteran like me get a service dog like mine.

Another two week version of the weekly blog, hmm, guess I should start to call it a every other week blog entry. I wish that I could say that I was so busy that I just did not have time to sit down and write up the many travels and adventures that we had been having. Of course that would be complete hogwash and not what you all want.

So what has been going on in the not so busy life of Kent and Iris? When I last wrote we had taken some time and enjoyed a great time down on the beach just relaxing. When we returned back to the busy metropolis of Brooklyn CT we we thrown into the rat race of 100 mile an hour, oops there goes that hogwash stuff again. Actually very little of the events that I mentioned in the last blog entry have come to fruition as of yet. The trip to South Carolina was put on a weather hold early on in the week while we were firming up travel plans and then as the week progressed I came down with some minor med issues so I did not attempt the trip. When I find out more of what happened I will let you all know how that went this past weekend.

I have been doing a bunch of online work with growing the twitter following (@kphyfe) which is going very well I think. Yes I am still trying to learn the in's and out's of twitter but I seem to be growing a solid group of followers that grow daily and actually interact with me so that is a good thing. I wish that I could say it was translating into an increase in donations coming in on my fundraising page. I am sure that will continue to grow as projects like the camper wrap come online.  However if any of my blog readers would be willing to go and take a look at the page the link is at the top middle and bottom of this entry, I would love to get feedback on your thoughts about any other comments to help grow donations.

As always here is the info on the fundraising page for VetDogs Attention: I have a Personal Fundraising Page for VetDogs Now! Please follow this link and make a donation to help another veteran like me get a service dog like mine.

Now during the past few weeks I have had a couple interesting chance meetings with some very interesting people. I am a Christian, most people that know me already know that, so when I was at church the other week the Bishop for our church was there celebrating with us.  The Episcopal Church has there Bishops go out to all the churches regularly to make sure that they are in contact and hear from the individual members of parishes.  During this visit he approached me because of Iris and wanted to know more about the VetDogs program. I of course took the opportunity to explain and then gave him some printed material to take back to the main offices and share. Why is this important?  In my travels I have visited churches all over that have wanted to help in their own ways, however having a chance to have a statewide program that is focused on helping Veterans & Services Dogs is something that I personally see as a great way to spread the word. So hopefully over the next months I will be involved in helping get some new programs going that will work here in CT and who knows when something works maybe the National Church will pick it up and start something also.  I have always considered this my personal mission or calling so the chance to line it up with my church in some way is something that really is a great feeling for me.

On Friday I am meeting with a State Rep from CT down in Hartford to discuss PTS and TBI issues and alternative recovery methods. We all know that I focus on Service Dogs mostly but the chance to use any sort of animal therapy has been a proven methodology when treating both these major issues with our returning soldiers.  I have been helping get a non profit started out in Montana that is focusing on Equine therapy for PTS and TBI's and one of the leaders in that has asked me to go along with Iris to speak with this representative.  I only hope that my presence is a positive note and not something that hurts the talks going on currently.  Surely there is always a reason for things to happen and I am looking forward to being in a place to make a difference in others lives.

Tomorrow I will be having lunch with the CEO of Grillie to discuss many ideas we have both been throwing around in hopes to help others.  Life is such a great ride. Stay tuned for more.

As always here is the info on the fundraising page for VetDogs Attention: I have a Personal Fundraising Page for VetDogs Now! Please follow this link and make a donation to help another veteran like me get a service dog like mine.

Here is a great Quote since I do not have pictures to share with you this week.

“Promise Yourself

To be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity
to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel
that there is something in them
To look at the sunny side of everything
and make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for the best,
and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past
and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words but great deeds.
To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
so long as you are true to the best that is in you.” 
― Christian D. LarsonYour Forces and How to Use Them

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Rested and Recovered

As always here is the info on the fundraising page for VetDogs Attention: I have a Personal Fundraising Page for VetDogs Now! Please follow this link and make a donation to help another veteran like me get a service dog like mine.

Ok so I admit it, I am not a young pup any longer. So after the Legion trip I was in need of some serious relaxation time. I took that time down in RI at our favorite beach camping place. Charlestown Breachway.

As you can tell Iris was having a good time relaxing with me. We did of course hand out all sorts of info on VetDogs. You would be amazed at the number of people that want to know more about service dogs in general. Of course I am sure there were a few that were also missing their personal pets and wanted to hang near our site in hopes of a quick kiss from Iris.

The weather was great during the day with enough wind to keep the pesky mosquitoes away and the evenings cooled down to provide some of the best sleep I have had in a very long time.

Now that we are home again and I have computer access I will get back on Facebook and Twitter in hopes of getting the word out again. The break was great but I am ready to get on the road that is for sure. One thing for sure that I was able to figure out while relaxing was I am definitely doing what I enjoy and also that I am doing good by others. 

I have no planned trips scheduled for the next week. I am hoping to head to South Carolina for the VetDogs 3rd party Fundraiser being hosted down there as long as all goes well. The Wounded Warrior Hockey Game that I was also invited to has been changed so that will not be happening this month but I promise to get down to the DC area for a game this year.

Newport RI and a couple projects like Grillie and a student article being done will hopefully be on the schedule very soon. I also have a trip scheduled to speak at a school in CT along with a Prison visit for the new prison program coming to CT sometime in the near future. My future is very positive and I am sure that I have forgotten some events especially the ones that I know are coming up for 50' Closer where I will be doing photo work for them while watching my amazing son pull and push really heavy things. Yes I am a proud father!

Here are the latest hot off the press pictures of the artist rendition of the upcoming wrap. The text will be changed to fit based on true size and placement needs. Also the address will be changed to which will take people directly to the donation page I have. From there I will make sure there is a link to the blog and other pages so people can also follow the travels of Iris and I. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

“Chase away sorrow by living one moment at a time to the fullest possible extent!”

Over the past year Iris and I have had some very long days and even some long weekends but this trip to Houston pushed the limits of my body. The mind is there saying come on we can keep going yet the body just seems to fall flat. The good news is that I know we have made it through and met some great people in the process. First things first Yes TEXAS IS HOT!!! I will stop complaining about CT's heat (at least until it gets hot again here). 

We had to fly to Florida to catch our connection into Houston making the flight out there about 7 hours of travel time without a break for Iris. All I can say is that Miss Iris is one of the best behaved service dogs ever, she never once complained but boy when she got out of the airport in Houston she was one happy traveler to see real grass. The folks from TX were extremely great from the moment we stepped off the plane until we got back on the plane to come home. There were a number of Legion people there to help make sure that we had help in getting all of our travel to hotels taken care of and made is feel very welcome. All I can say is thank you all for a great time.
While at the convention I was amazed even though we were only dealing with the delegates side of the membership how many people were actually there. The legion along with all the service organizations may be in a waning period but there are still many American's out there proud of their service and their loved ones service also. I talking to the delegates about the experiences I have had with Iris and How America's VetDogs has changed my life I shared a number of tears of hope that others would be able to also find hope. How nice would it be if every veteran that has a medical need for a service dog was able to get one? It is a message that I know I will continue to proclaim on a daily basis.

Iris had fun while we were there playing and hanging out with Lara a Lab/Golden mix from VetDogs who helps her Veteran with her issues. There were a few other training groups that had their service dogs in training there also. All the pup's got along splendidly and I am sure that the quality of dogs being trained for our Veterans impressed all the legionnaires that took time to come and learn about them.

On a different note, for all those that follow the advocacy work I do, there have been a couple high profile issues the past few weeks on the eastern seaboard. One that affected a graduate of America's VetDogs which has been handled very well and is well on the way to become a great training opportunity for the town and community to learn more about Service dogs and Veterans needs. The other one is a retired Air Force Vet & his service dog in Mass that was kicked out of a restaurant. This happened in Oxford right up the road from me. Unfortunately the whole thing has turned into a mess and people are taking sides. When that happens businesses get hurt people never get the full story and future disabled people will still encounter issues because there is no resolution. I have all intentions of going up to this resteraunt later this week or next week in hopes of showing the laws and explaining why they are in place. Hopefully we will be able to come to a resolution and ease tension in the community.

So anyone wanting to join in on this run to Oxford MA please let me know. 

Till then have a great labor day weekend coming up and be safe.

 Here is the first of the Artist renditions of the plans on the camper. There are a few changes but I really like where this is going. Stay tuned to what happens next. 

Attention: I have a Personal Fundraising Page for VetDogs Now! Please follow this link and make a donation to help another veteran like me get a service dog like mine. 

The next three here are Maggie Starr's rendition Same concept except the idea of keeping all the body parts looking correct not stretched out and all the windows & venting on the camper have been kept in place to insure proper placement. I am sure that we will come up with something between the foundation and us.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Never tell me the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon!

Attention: I have a Personal Fundraising Page for VetDogs Now! Please follow this link and make a donation to help another veteran like me get a service dog like mine.

3 day's till I leave for Houston. This is going to be the longest of the trips in sometime I leave on Thursday and return on Tuesday and am looking forward to hanging with so many Veteran's of all Era's. We will have a booth at the convention to spread the word about service dogs and how they change lives. I changed my affiliation to legion post 91 instead of being a member at large post 200 member. Up until now I have felt no desire to be locally affiliated especially with the posts centering around a smoke filled bar. (Just not an atmosphere I find myself drawn to). The Legion just like the VFW are great organizations that I am happy to be a part of and support but until recently I have had to focus all my energy with the DAV and AMRA. I am really looking forward to the convention in Houston.
Ok enough about that I am sure that when I return I will have lots to say about the convention. Last week was very interesting for me. My travels were pretty much local with much of the time spent handling local issues and trying to make sure that we put out a welcoming hand to our veterans returning home from active duty. My home town of OldSaybrook Ct held a fundraiser for a Marine Sgt who is still on Active duty undergoing medical treatment for a TBI condition after his 3 trip overseas. He was flown back to OldSaybrook Sat morning to be the guest of honor at Fireman's field. It was a great day of support and he and his family were overwhelmed with the public outreach. 

To see the community come together and raise money for this young family was wonderful. I was able to spend some time with both Dan and his wife to share my experience overcoming my TBI issues and getting back into living a normal life. Of course I gave him and his wife information on America's VetDogs and told them both all about Iris with all that she does for me. They seemed very excited and said they will call once they get back to Virginia. They headed back for the Hospital on Sat Evening so I may hear from them soon I hope. I explained how it is not uncommon to start the process of applying to get a service dog before getting off active duty to limit the timeframe. 

Earlier in the week I had an opportunity to meet with the CEO of a startup company called This is a neat company that makes really nice auto grille pieces that are made in Rhode Island and are die cast so they will last and look great for years to come. The CEO is a super nice man who is very excited to help veterans and others and when I spoke to him about doing something with VetDogs he was very excited. Needless to say I went and looked at some of the product and feel in love with the Lab Grillie which is now proudly shown on my truck for all to see. 

While the legal side of things is worked out with America's VetDogs I have worked out a way to save a few dollars and let him make a donation in kind to VetDogs for every sale that is made. So if you go to and pick out whatever product you want (he has a good number already for you) then go to the shopping cart page where there is an option for the promo code. You have to enter the promo code in here to get the discount and donation to take place. This is the only place that it happens. The Code itself is case sensitive so please cut and paste from here. vetdogskp is the code all lower case no breaks. What does it get you and VetDogs you ask? Here is the breakdown 20% of you order amount is going to be turned into a donation to America's VetDogs and you will receive a 10% discount for placing this order and using the code. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Where does time go?

Attention: I have a Personal Fundraising Page for VetDogs Now! Please follow this link and make a donation to help another veteran like me get a service dog like mine.

I know I lost last weeks blog entry somewhere between my brain and the keyboard. I did do some traveling to the coast for a couple nights on the beach with Iris and my wife. I even brought the camera out and snapped some pictures which is something I have not been doing all that much of lately. Unfortunately my getting things done button does not appear to be working for me.

Many people would say I am to hard on myself, that I accomplish a lot but when I look at what I do it never seems enough. I can tell everyone that the article that Truck Camper Magazine  published has kept me going in front of the computer screen and phone like I have not been in a very long time. I have had comments and request from all over. Soon one of the Military organizations I belong to will be publishing their own interview also both in the print and online versions. I will of course let everyone know when I know. All I can say about any and all of the media that does come out is thank you from the bottom of my heart, it is not about me but getting the message out to help our Veterans who need help in transitioning back into civilian life. I have my Service Dog already and am on the way back now it is all about helping others to find their way.

Attention: I have a Personal Fundraising Page for VetDogs Now! Please follow this link and make a donation to help another veteran like me get a service dog like mine.

So that pretty much covers last weeks entry or what should have been so on to this weeks update. I mentioned that I have started growing my twitter presence which is a learning experience for sure. I used to think that just having people follow you was the key to "winning with twitter". Now I have been building relationships with followers and actually interacting with those I follow. It has been interesting and much more time consuming then I had originally planned for. I am still learning and playing but as I seem to grow by 30-50 new followers daily and expand my reach from just the service dogs for Veterans to truly pushing for Veteran Advocacy which is something that I find to be very important for me and others to have a layman to help them through the many land mines that wait for them once out of the military. The abbreviated format seems to really work well for this work so I am enjoying it and hope that others will help guide me to be more effective also.

Attention: I have a Personal Fundraising Page for VetDogs Now! Please follow this link and make a donation to help another veteran like me get a service dog like mine.

Saturday I took off for Long Island via the Bridgeport Port Jefferson Ferry to head out to the Cousin's Paint Ball for Patriots Fundraiser. This was the second year that I was involved in this event. This is a perfect example of a 3rd party fundraiser that I am more than happy to support. The group of people that put this together do it for a love of their country and our veterans knowing that they want to give back in a fun way. They had people from all over there participating and the day was a great success. I wish that I was still able to get out there and rough it up with them but well there is a reason I have the service dog and the doctors would not be at all happy with me nor my family. See guys I am getting better at being more adult. So many thanks go to all those involved with the event and who knows maybe they will invite me again next year.

This week is filled with family obligations so I am not sure what my travels will be but I can assure you that I hope to get out to somewhere. I would love to hear from your organization or group and come for a visit all you have to do is ask. Two weeks from now I will be in Houston for the National American Legion Convention (not driving to that one). The new meds are working great but I am still not comfortable enough to make that long a drive on my own so I have been warming my arms up and SW Air has already saved space in case I can not get enough lift with my paddles.

Attention: I have a Personal Fundraising Page for VetDogs Now! Please follow this link and make a donation to help another veteran like me get a service dog like mine.
Till Next time, Happy Trials!

Attention: I have a Personal Fundraising Page for VetDogs Now! Please follow this link and make a donation to help another veteran like me get a service dog like mine.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Getting the Word OUT!!!!

Last week can be summed up in the title of this weeks blog. I have had a few adverse effects from the new meds so needless to say I have been less mobile. I hate not getting out and being active but I have also learned that when my body starts to act up I had better slow down or things can get messy or worse I can end up in the hospital.

The great news of last week was that on Tuesday Truck Camper Magazine did their feature article on Iris & I. The Article started to draw emails very quickly. Comments started to fly in to me via email, facebook, twitter and phone. My Twitter account has grown by almost 40% in a matter of one week and the number of new Facebook friends and followers is pretty cool also. All I can say is thank you to all of you for getting the word out.

People like Mike Wolfe from History Channel's American Picker's Show and a couple radio shows down in NC that I know of that passed the word really helped also. I was supposed to go to a Truck Camper Rally in the White mountains but physically I could not do the drive so I am sure that did not help my getting the word out.

So in short what's coming up in the near future?

I am working on coming up with a way to help fund some of these trips that I have been doing. Many of the trips I do I pay for out of my own pocket especially lately and I am finding that I am overstepping  just a tad. I also have to come up with a way to put some transportation cost together quickly to help get me down for the Cruise Line Fundraiser that I won the right to help out. After looking at the current ticket rates it is going to stretch the budget to make this all come together on my fixed income. So if anyone has any ideas on how I should go about this please let me know.

I have the Paint Ball Fundraiser on Long Island. I hope to have the camper out there with Iris and myself to cheer on the guys and gal's that come out for this worthy cause. If anyone is interested in playing you still have time to sign up. Last year they had teams from all over there and even had a tank (for paintball). It was fun times for all.

There is so much follow up work I am doing at the moment to get the word out any help would be greatly appreciated. I am also looking at getting some Video Blog links added in here. One of my friends suggested that I attempt to grab one of the talks I do on Video. I do have links already at for radio interviews that were done last year if anyone is interested.

Till next week safe travels.

Kent & Iris

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Heat is ON!

As I sit here on Monday wondering where my brain has gone to because the heat has fried it I hope to find something to write. The past week was as hot as it really ever should think about getting here in the northeastern part of this great country. With the humidity the feel like temp was between 105 and 110 so the weather soothsayers told us daily. Personally I have spent time in a few desserts and jungles and this was not as bad as that but a close third or forth given my age and medical condition. I know "suck it up buttercup" comes to mind but hey it's my blog.

So the week itself was pretty slow for us. We did the two phone interviews while sitting in the shade at the beach. Life is great, how did we ever survive without cellphones and wireless technology? We did however call it an early departure from the beach due to the heat and the fact I just could not seem to cool down in the evenings. So back to the home AC unit.

Thursday I was supposed to run the Camper down to the sign place and get the look over but again the heat was just to much for me. Something about the meds I am on that seem to make me want to fall over everytime I stand up in the heat that makes being out in it less desirable. So the camper north to New Hampshire did not happen either. Knowing the temps on Sat were going to be in the high 90's before the humidity did it's magic just made the idea of sleeping with no AC to much for this not so healthy old man. Guess I am getting smarter in my old age for all of you that worry I push to hard.

Since I did not get down to have the camper looked over I spent those days hiding in the AC at the house. I did spend a fair amount of time on the internet working on coming up with new ways to get the word out about VetDogs and also teaming up with the Power Lifting Community that even though I am broken seems to have accepted me as one of their own. Guess it really helps to have a soon to be 22 year old son (tomorrow 23 July) who is a moose and lives for the strength stuff.

I did head up to New Hampshire on Saturday morning to meet up with the Granite State Strongman/Women Championship and take pictures of a pretty awesome event. No ordinary weightlifting going on here that's for sure. Check out the pictures at my website I wish my son was able to be there but he was out getting his tattoo beefed up some. He had had a Cross now it really looks cool.

This coming week I have nothing planned as far as fundraising is concerned so people call me get me busy. Especially now my youngest just turned 19 2 weeks ago and started her Physical Therapist Assistant Program at New England Tech today my wife and son work full time so I find myself with more time to dedicate to helping other veterans. Especially since the new medicine the doctors put me really seem to have made a huge difference with controlling the events.

Thursday I will head to northern New Hampshire to attend my first New England Truck Camper Rally. I am looking forward to a good time meeting new friends and showing off my little rig. I know a number of the people are looking forward to meeting Iris also. Tomorrow there will be an article published online in the Truck Camper Magazine which is a great online magazine that has lots of great information and story's about people like me that feel all the tires needed for camping should be on your truck not on the camper.

Well thank all of you for following and a special thank you to TCM for making a donation to America's VetDogs I really look forward to showing off the article.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Dog days of summer

Just a quick update this week. Iris and I have slowed down and taken some time for ourselves this week. We're resting relaxing and all around wishing that the hot and humid of summer in New England would tone back just a bit. 

My wife, Iris and I decided to escape the swelter of the inland heat to catch the ocean breeze and relax in one of our favorite places, Charlestown Breachway, Rhode Island. Here are a few pictures of Iris hanging out this morning. 
Here's the view from where she was laying.
Yes she likes hanging in the sun also!

Well this week we have a couple phone interviews, a meet and greet with thirty two signs about them possibly being the company that wraps the camper and then the New England Strongman championships. More next week till then stay cool enjoy the summer.

Here is a post from Facebook this morning pretty much sums this up for me. Water shade serenity her views guess this is what they call a service dogs life. Our camper is the central stop for many campers wanting their animal fix since the campground has a no pet policy. So glad I carry info on VetDogs and the guide dog foundation, so many people want to know more and how to donate. I tell them every penny counts and soon the camper will too! It will have it's own text to donate number so people can quickly donate via there cell phone.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Strength in numbers

So when given an opportunity to take on a new path or look on life I jump. When that path allows me to spend more time with my son and his friends that is even better. "50' closer to a cure" is a group of power lifters that have decided to use their strength to raise awareness and money for charities.

My son who has been into lifting and physical fitness for sometime now has gotten into the strongman side of things. My not being allowed to be active in this type of activity can now be lived vicariously through him and others competing while raising funds for good causes. The best part is that I am able to document the competitions with my camera skills (yes the proud dad syndrome).

Last week Iris and I were down in Plainfield, CT shooting pictures of these guys and gal's pulling a firetruck and this week we were up in Revere, MA watching them do a whole series of strongman exercises from pulling a tri-axle dump truck to a Viking Squat. You can see the pictures at  all profits from any sales of these pictures will go towards paying for the wrapping of the camper and gas to get Iris and myself along with the camper to the competitions.

Please spread the word that these very good people are helping our communities all over. They have also said they want to and will be working out a way to help America's VetDogs. Yes the pun was intended...

For all those wondering I did get back up to New Hampshire with the camper for some relax time after the time in Chicago and the trip into NYC never came to be. So last week ended up being a nice relaxing week for me.

There was a neat twist that surprised me for sure, I received a call from the group that had sponsored the trip in February for the VetDog Charity cruise. Jen and I won the two tickets for paradise (of course Iris also). We are very excited about this trip and are working out the details of how we will make it all work out as far as travel and cost. Flying makes the most sense with Jen and her work schedule but taking the camper and talking about VetDogs all the way down and back is my preferred method. We will have to see how it all works out, either way it is out of the budget cost so we may even think about having some form of a fund raiser for the fundraiser. Let me know if anyone is interested in helping me out with setting something like that up for a travel fund. We will be on the ship for 7 days and the funds raised onboard will be donated to America's VetDogs.