Militarily Speaking Podcast Episode 10

In this episode of “Militarily Speaking,” Tom, Jodi, and guest Sean Brown discuss Southeastern Guide Dogs and the services they provide. They also get into the process of matching with a dog, different programs they offer, and how Southeastern Guide Dogs differentiates themselves.

Show Notes

In this episode of “Militarily Speaking,” Tom, Jodi, and guest Sean Brown discuss Southeastern Guide Dogs and the services they provide. They also get into the process of matching with a dog, different programs they offer, and how Southeastern Guide Dogs differentiates themselves.

“Militarily Speaking” is a podcast produced by Armed Forces Bank that is dedicated to the military lifestyle and all the things that makes military community who they are.

Welcome to the "Militarily Speaking" podcast with Tom McLean and Jodi Vickery.

In this episode of “Militarily Speaking,” Tom, Jodi, and guest Sean Brown discuss Southeastern Guide Dogs and the services they provide. They also get into the process of matching with a dog, different programs they offer, and how Southeastern Guide Dogs differentiates themselves.

“Militarily Speaking” is a podcast produced by Armed Forces Bank that is dedicated to the military lifestyle and all the things that makes military community who they are.

Ep. 10 — A Conversation with Sean Brown from Southeastern Guide Dogs and Working Dog Nick

Introducing Sean Brown and Southeastern Guide Dogs

Tom and Jodi open up the show and introduce Sean Brown from Southeastern Guide Dogs.

  • Sean served for 7 years in the Army Intelligence Core before injury cut his service time short.
  • Sean then jumps in and describes more details of his background, and how he first got introduced to Southeastern Guide Dogs.
  • He describes how his life has changed after receiving his first working dog in March 2018.
     

Tom asks Sean about his philanthropic role he now holds with Southeastern Guide Dogs.

  • Sean dives into the history of how he went from a speaker at one of their Dining in the Dark events to the position he plays with the company now.
  • Tom notes that the program used to be called Dining in the Dark, it’s now called Beyond the Dark.
  • Sean then describes the new program, some of the things it entails, and how you can experience it for yourself.
     

What Can a Guide Dog Do?

Tom says that Armed Forces Bank, which has been committed to serving our military community since 1907, was recently matched with a working dog named Jamy. He then asks Sean to describe his history with his two working dogs.

  • Sean begins by describing the matching process and how he got matched with his first working dog Pella.
  • He continues by listing off the different things Pella enabled him to do, giving him a level of autonomy back to his life that he had not experienced in a while.
  • Sean then shares about the transition when Pella retired to his new working dog Nick.
     

Jodi asks what Nick’s cues are, and what he is tuned into to help Sean with.

  • Sean says one of his main tasks is retrieval, helping him pick up things from the floor or getting medication.
  • He continues by describing how tuned in Nick and he became more in-tune with each other after just a few weeks of becoming a new team.
     

Tom asks how long a veteran has to wait before getting a guide dog.

  • Sean says the wait is typically about 12 months, but may sometimes be longer.
  • He adds that the way to find the best match is to tell the instructors what kind of help they need, and those instructors will help find the best match, based on your specific needs and lifestyle.
  • After more questioning from Tom, Sean then talks about what types of dogs Southeastern Guide Dogs has available, and how their team helps create those breeds on campus.
     

How Much Does a Guide Dog From Southeastern Guide Dogs Cost?

Jody questions how much it costs the person receiving the guide dog?

  • Sean says that every dog is given for free to every recipient, as well as food, annual vaccinations and vet visits.
  • He notes that each dog costs between $50,000-$60,000 to raise them from birth to team placement.
  • Sean continues by stating they are a non-profit and need to raise $16 Million to fund the programs.
     

Tom asks about the process to be selected and matched with a guide dog.

  • Sean says that the longest part is the application process, which includes vetting the applicant’s need for a guide dog through the VA, doctors, and home visits.
  • After the application process, Sean says they will call you saying that you’ve been approved and welcoming you to class.
     

Jodi circles back to the $16 Million Southeastern Guide Dogs needs to raise, and asks how people can help in those efforts?

  • Sean says the best way is to go to their website: www.guidedogs.org
  • He notes that they have 3-4 matching programs throughout the year
  • Sean also adds that if people want to contribute directly to the veterans program, or one of their other programs, they can specify that in their donation
     

What Makes Southeastern Guide Dogs Different?

Tom notes that there are a number of organizations that also work in training guide dogs, and asks Sean what differentiates their program.

  • Sean says the first is that they are the only school that provides the lifetime of care at no cost through their alumni care program, which includes food, preventative medicines, annual vaccinations
  • Sean says that the other differentiating factor is that since they started their veterans program, they haven’t lost a single veteran to the battle against suicide.
     

Sean makes one final note saying that they are always in need of puppy raisers to help them raise the next generation of super heroes.
 

Military Minute

Jodi introduces the Military Minute segment of the show, beginning by closing out last episode’s Military Minute.

  • Last episode’s Military Minute: Who is the Beyond Basic Life Insurance Plan best for?
  • Answer: Ages 18-44
  • This week’s Military Minute question: Veterans train on campus learning to navigate with their dogs for how many days?
  • Watch for Facebook and Instagram posts about this episode.
  • Answer with the correct answer and you plus a charity of your choice can each win $50.
     

Tom closes the episode by asking listeners to out to www.afbank.com and subscribe to the show, as well as leave a rating and comment on your favorite podcast platform such as Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

Join us to hear how to better navigate your finances, military life, and the crossroads of the two.

Visit www.afbank.com