A dog can be a man's best friend. For Jimmy Thomas, a golden retriever named Boots was more than a best friend. "A little fuzzy dog comes in and he was so cute," Thomas said. "They let him loose and of course he mauled me." A 61-year-old Army veteran, Thomas has struggled with bipolar disorder and stress-induced seizures. With help from the Mountains to Miracles Veterans Foundation, the Ballston Spa native was paired with a service dog
“I started in Glenville, NY, September 24th, and made my way down the Intercoastal to Shem Creek in South Carolina," says Thomas. “I’m headed to Key West. I think by land, it’s probably another 800 miles, so I’m over half. So, that’s exciting.” The veteran served as a Military Police Officer in the Army, but later found himself in need of a service dog to help deal with stress-induced seizures.
Jimmy Thomas is an Army Veteran, and he’s in the middle of kayaking from Upstate New York all the way to Key West, Florida, which is over 4,000 miles. Thomas started Doggie Paddle, which is an organization with a mission to raise money for Veterans to get service dogs. Doggie Paddle was inspired by Boots, Thomas’ service dog, who sadly passed away a few months ago. “I had a service dog, I see how effective they can be, how important they are to not just me, my family, and without going into all the details, he would basically keep you motivated, and alive, and alive is an underestimate of what they can do,” said Thomas. Once Thomas gets to Florida, he will bicycle back to New York.
SAVANNAH, Ga. An army veteran is kayaking from New York state to Key West, Florida for charity. And this week he made several stops in our area. Jimmy Thomas is an army veteran and Rotary Club member. He began his more than 4,000-mile journey in late September.
Thomas is backed by Rotary clubs across the eastern seaboard, who are housing and feeding him as he makes his way south along the East Coast. He's bringing awareness to "Doggie Paddle for Veterans," an organization that gifts service dogs to veterans.