'It Meant Actively Helping A Combat Veteran'

A VFW Post in Pennsylvania pledged to donate annual fundraising proceeds toward the first and only service dog nonprofit for combat veterans in Philadelphia

In seeking to find an honorable cause to donate proceeds from their successful annual fundraisers in 2019, VFW Post 7155 members in Trappe, Pennsylvania, found Alpha Bravo Canine (ABC).

Touted as the first and only Philadelphia-based nonprofit of its kind, ABC donates service dogs to veterans suffering from PTSD, TBI and other combat-related disabilities.

“Our Post voted unanimously on supporting ABC because the nonprofit is in good standing, and the founder is a military wife,” VFW Post 7155 Adjutant Karla Frank said. “There is no other nonprofit that provides service dogs in the greater Philadelphia area.”

veterans raise money for animals
From left, VFW Post 7155 representative Kathy Champaign, Alpha Bravo Canine founder Jennifer Green, Post 7155 Sr. Vice Commander Douglas Franks, Commander Rich Cassidy and former Commander John Moyer display a $6,600 donation from the Post on Jan. 16, 2020, at ABC’s headquarters in Philadelphia.
ABC places newborn puppies through an intensive two-year educational program before graduating them as service dogs and gifting them free of charge to combat veterans in need. In doing so, ABC relies on donations and fundraising events as each service dog’s training costs between $25,000-$30,000 under the organization’s care.

“The year before we had split our donations between ABC and another veterans organization, but we realized that ABC had a great local impact on the veterans community here,” Frank said. “For us at VFW Post 7155, it meant actively helping a combat veteran to overcome emotional and or physical damage.”

Following the unanimous decision during a July 2019 meeting, Post 7155 members proceeded to raise more than $6,600 during a successful annual fundraising campaign highlighted by a golf tournament and Buddy Poppy drive.

A facsimile check was then presented during a ceremony at ABC’s headquarters in Philadelphia, about 32 miles southeast of Trappe, on Jan. 16, 2020. Frank, along with four other members of Post 7155, presented the check to ABC’s founder and Director of Training Jennifer Green, who greeted them with one of her young puppy charges.

“Jennifer was visibly moved by the donation,” Frank recalled. “The puppy, not so much. He wanted to play.”

Green also answered many questions during the event about ABC’s vision for the future and its continuous efforts to help veterans suffering from combat-related disabilities, according to Frank.

“We left the ceremony confident that we would keep donating to ABC for years to come,” Frank said. “We have since voted on it as well.”

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic scrapping Post 7155’s successful golf fundraisers in 2020 and 2021, Frank said that Post 7155 will host the 2022 event on Oct. 9.

As pledged by Post members with their unanimous support, all proceeds will go toward ABC. For more information on ABC, readers can visit www.alphabravocanine.org

This article is featured in the 2022 September issue of VFW magazine, and was written by Ismael Rodriguez Jr., senior writer for VFW magazine.