Five veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress or traumatic brain injuries will have the benefit of a specially trained service dog thanks to a new partnership between Stryker Orthopaedics and K9s for Warriors.
The new partnership was celebrated at THE PLAYERS Championship last week, when Stryker donated a service dog in a special ceremony held at the Birdies for the Brave Patriots’ Outpost as part of the tournament’s Military Appreciation Day. Stryker Vice President Lori Quigley made a special presentation to Brett Simon, director of K9 operations and son of K9s for Warriors Founder Shari Duval.
“Stryker is donating five service dogs to our warriors,” Shari Duval said. “They’ve become one of our big partners.”
A special highlight of the announcement was a surprise visit by country music star Toby Keith, who shook the hands of veterans and K9s for Warriors personnel in attendance.
“How about a hand for our military?” Keith asked the obliging crowd of active duty military, veterans and their families. “After more than 230 shows over there, I’m blessed to be able to come and play for y’all here at home.”
As part of the tournament, Stryker Orthopaedics sponsored the “Stryker Mobility Zone,” where attendees could receive on-site joint health assessments and learn about treatment options for knee and hip pain. In addition, a portion of the proceeds of hats sold at the Mobility Zone benefited K9s for Warriors and veterans with post-traumatic stress.
The air conditioned Patriots’ Outpost was bustling with hundreds of military personnel and their families, who enjoyed complimentary food and refreshments courtesy of Chick-fil-A, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Applebee’s and more.
“THE PLAYERS is a great tournament,” said 24-year Army veteran Chris Curry of Richmond Hills, Ga., who attended the event with his wife, Janet. “They do a lot for the military. They even gave out over 20,000 tickets to members of the military.”
Tournament Chairman Michele McManamon said THE PLAYERS Championship has a long history of supporting our men and women in uniform.
“This is the least we can do,” she said, “for those who put their lives on the line to ensure our freedoms.”