Salute to moms

K9s For Warriors holds special event honoring moms and female veterans

K9s founder Shari Duval among women recognized


K9s For Warriors strives to its part to help military veterans of all kinds and that includes men and women who needs assistance through their program.

As a result, the nonprofit organization took time to celebrate the mothers they have helped over the years and recognize the strong female leaders they have had as donors and behind the scenes with a Salute to Moms event.

Of course, it all started with Shari Duval, who founded K9s For Warriors and was an instrumental presence within the organization and an inspiration the organization still uses as guidance in its day-to-day mission even after her death in 2021.

Her legacy is especially felt in the events that take place and the Salute to Moms night was no different.

One of the things that made the night special was having a pair of female veterans in attendance who had gone through the program in the past and returned with their furry companions to share the impact the organization has had on their lives.

“This event is in honor of Shari and all the wonderful women who have impacted our organization and all those we serve as an organization,” said Kiersan Cue, development manager with K9s For Warriors.

It was the second time the event was taking place and it returned to the calendar after not happening a year, and according to Cue everyone in attendance was happy to have it back.

“Typically, as a veteran organization the first thought is that we’re serving men and the women part sometimes gets lost in our messaging, so this was a great opportunity for us to get the word out,” Cue said.

The festivities on the night included dinner being served by South Kitchen, Unbridled Bar provided the cocktails as well as jewelry and bouquet bars.

The veterans honored on the night included Kerry Bering with her service dog Bass and Jovanna Coleman and her service dog Danny.

Coleman went up on the stage at the event along with her three children and they each talked about how Bass has been such an important part of the family as a whole.

“He’s changed things exponentially for all of us,” Coleman said.

She couldn’t decide what she wanted to do after her time in the military but when she got paired with Danny she decided to take a leap of faith and recently earned her doctorate degree in physical therapy.

Danny was there for her every step of the way, including going back and forth to school with her.

“It’s difficult to understand when you need help, especially when you hold yourself to a high level, but having to take a moment to admit that and seek assistance can be a very powerful place to be,” Coleman said. “This place allowed me to sit here today and be able to share it with my kids.”