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Iraq Veteran to Speak About America’s Vet Dogs March 25

Injured Sgt. Tony Larson to Speak at East Norwich Civic Association Meeting

The East Norwich Civic Association will host Sgt. Tony Larson, a veteran injured in Iraq, at their Thursday March 25 meeting. The event takes place at the Community Methodist Church of East Norwich at 7:45 p.m. All are welcome to attend.

Sgt. Larson will be introduced to the ENCA by member Kathy Genovese, director of development of America’s VetDogs/Guide Dog Foundation.

 She said, “Sgt. Larson has an uplifting and heroic story that I would like to share with the public.”

“I think the civic meeting will be a good venue for Sgt. Larson to tell his story,” said ENCA President Matt Meng.

Army National Guardsman, Sgt. Tony Larson was severely injured in Iraq in 2005 when an IED exploded under his truck. Tony suffered the loss of his right leg, mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). After 18 months at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Tony was paired with his service dog “Tomme,” a black Labrador, through America’s VetDogs.

“Since then SGT Larson has continued living life to the fullest and advocates for disabled veterans,” said Ms. Genovese.

She added, “The men and women who serve our country are strong, brave, independent and dedicated to defending the United States of America, and when they are wounded in combat they face a new kind of battle, the struggle to adapt to life with a disability and to regain some of the skills most of us take for granted like mobility, balance and the confidence to move in social settings.”

America’s VetDogs, a subsidiary of the Guide Dog Foundation is a not for profit organization that has found a way to help. By teaming specially trained guide and service dogs with disabled veterans these amazing dogs provide the gift of independence, safety, mobility and companionship.

VetDogs help their owners answer phones, walk down steps without banisters, retrieve dropped items; they also provide a calming, non-judgmental presence. “Provided at no cost to the veteran, the service dogs can make the difference between an active, engaged life and an isolated one” says Kathy Genovese.

The meeting is open to all interested and concerned citizens. United Methodist Church (corner of Vernon Avenue and Route 106- just south of Northern Blvd.).

For additional information on America’s VetDogs contact Kathy Genovese at 631 – 930-9055, www.vetdogs.org.