National Award and a Night to Celebrate Heroes
The Academy of United States Veterans hosted the Vettys Presidential Inaugural Ball and Awards in Washington, D.C. on January 20, 2017, celebrating the spirit of unity and solidarity as the veterans’ and first responders’ communities came together for the Inauguration of the 45th President. Cpl. Michael Jernigan, USMC (Ret.), our own graduate and the co-founder of our veterans’ programs, was on hand to receive the Southeastern Guide Dogs Vetty award in the mental health category. The award recognizes the positive impact of our service dogs, facility therapy dogs, Gold Star family dogs, and emotional support dogs on the lives of veterans and their families.
Other honored guests included General Mark A. Milley, Chief of Staff of the Army; General David L. Goldfein, Chief of Staff of the Air Force; General Joseph L. Lengyel, Chief of the National Guard Bureau; Honorable Patrick J. Murphy, Under Secretary of the Army; Melissa Fitzgerald, Senior Director of Justice for Vets; Steven Woolfe, Member of the European Parliament; Duane “Dog” Chapman, The Bounty Hunter; and H.E. Dr. Bozo Cerar, Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia. The Vettys were presented to six outstanding veterans service organizations and individuals for “boots on the ground dedication and selfless service to veterans and their families.”