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Valdosta Fire Department raises $10,000 for Valor Service Dogs in annual 9/11 Memorial 5k

Valor Service Dogs plays a vital role in helping veterans and first responders
Posted at 12:35 PM, Oct 30, 2023
  • Valdosta Fire Department raised $10,000 to support Valor Service Dogs.
  • VSD wounded post-9/11 veterans and first responders.
  • See how they did it in the news release below.


The Valdosta Fire Department, in a heartfelt tribute to the fallen heroes of 9/11, is proud to announce the successful completion of its annual 9/11 Memorial 5k, held on September 9, 2023. This year's event not only paid homage to those who lost their lives or the lives of loved ones on that fateful day but also honored the brave first responders who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

The highlight of this remarkable event is the staggering $10,000 raised for Valor Service Dogs, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting wounded post-9/11 veterans and first responders. Valor Service Dogs plays a vital role in helping veterans and first responders regain their independence, transition back into civilian life, and maintain successful partnerships through the training and placement of mobility assistance and PTSD service dogs.

Beyond their invaluable assistance to these heroes in community reintegration, both physically and psychologically, Valor Service Dogs also fosters awareness and education among the general public regarding service dogs, their training, and the laws that enable these remarkable animals to be active members of our society.

Fire Chief Brian Boutwell expressed his appreciation for the department's close bond between Valor Service Dogs and the Valdosta Fire Department. Valor Service Dogs has become a trusted ally, available to support VFD's firefighters in times of emotional distress or difficult situations. When firefighters have had a challenging call or need psychological support, Valor Service Dogs steps in by providing dogs in training for emotional assistance. This unique collaboration allows the dogs in training to experience various environments while enabling their trainers to observe how the dogs respond to the emotions of the firefighters.

This synergy between the Valdosta Fire Department and Valor Service Dogs is a true win-win situation, offering comfort and support to those who dedicate their lives to saving others. Lieutenant Melissa Roe, who organizes the annual 5K, stated, "the 9/11 Memorial 5K is not just an opportunity to remember the past, but also a way to build a brighter future for our first responders and veterans. We are deeply honored to support Valor Service Dogs and their mission, as they have been an invaluable resource in helping our department and firefighters cope with the emotional rigors of our work."

The Valdosta Fire Department and Valor Service Dogs are grateful for the support of the community and participants in the 9/11 Memorial 5k, and they look forward to continuing their collaboration to provide crucial support to those who bravely serve our nation.

For more information about Valor Service Dogs, please visit their website at For more information about the 9/11 Memorial 5K, please contact Lieutenant Melissa Roe at