Normandy supports local veterans with Wags 4 Warriors partnership
December 9, 2019
by Carrie McCarthy
Social Studies Department
Normandy High School
On Veterans Day, the non-profit organization Wags 4 Warriors visited Normandy High School as part of the school’s recognition to local heroes.
Wags 4 Warriors is a local nonprofit organization based in Northeast Ohio. Co-founded by Frank and Jen DeLorenzo, Wags 4 Warriors was started to help service men and women that have been affected by their combat experience.
Wags 4 Warriors works with local animal rescue organizations to match a veteran with an appropriate, potential service dog. In addition, Wags 4 Warriors provides all of the training and support for the dog to become the veteran’s service dog, at no cost to the veteran. The service dogs are trained for various tasks to help the veteran get through the day.
Veterans may be eligible for a Service Connection if they have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a traumatic brain injury or other service-connected disabilities.
After the inspirational message provided by Wags 4 Warriors on Veterans Day, many Normandy students and staff wanted to further assist this important organization. Students and staff were given the opportunity to go to the Wags 4 Warriors headquarters in Brecksville to help create large a American flag that will be given to a local veteran at the Wags 4 Warriors holiday party.
“It's great to see both teachers and students volunteer a few hours of their week to veterans who gave months or years of their lives fighting for our country,” explained Stephanie Papp, mathematics teacher at Normandy.
“The Wags 4 Warriors flag project was a hands-on, team-building activity for our veterans,” said Julia Urban, a sophomore at Normandy. “We sanded, stapled, and stained wood to design a beautiful American flag that will be given to veterans at the Wags Christmas party.”
“The opportunity also allowed students to get involved with the community and specifically honor our veterans,” added Eliza Mrugacz, also a sophomore.
Students also volunteered to wrap holiday presents and create a tri-board that highlighted the services of Wags 4 Warriors. In return, Wags 4 Warriors generously gave each volunteer participant a t-shirt.
Donations and more information can be found at the Wags 4 Warriors website https://www.wags4warriors.org/Support.html
PHOTO CAPTION: During Veterans Day, Normandy High School invited Wags 4 Warriors into the school to speak with students. The presentation had such a positive impact for staff and students, the school continues to help this local organization connect veterans with service dogs. Photo by Marc Kirby.