Battle Dawgs Racing
September 18, 2013 Rick Casillo
Battle Dawgs Racing

Dear Rick,

I am honored to take this opportunity to endorse Rick and his organization. I had the choice experience of visiting his operation on Troublesome Glacier in May 2013. My wonder and excitement started at the base camp and airport. My colleagues and I were briefed by an excellent pilot, who then loaded us onto an immacu- lately maintained helicopter. I am a flight crew member of UH-60 helicopters in the US Army, and I have to say that the flight up to the glacier was smooth and filled with breathtaking scenery. The pilot took time to show us several landmarks as well as explain several principles of mountain flight that would make a nervous flyer feel at ease.

When we landed at the glacier and disembarked, I was stunned at what I found. First and foremost, were the dogs. I had no idea that there would be so many dogs on the team. They each had their own kennel, and were spirited in a way that I have never seen in dogs before or since. I could tell almost immediately that these dogs and Rick were family. I greeted Rick, and asked if I could visit with the dogs. I actually walked through and pet and spoke to each and every dog. I recognized that each dog had a very unique personality; I marveled at the potential and determination that I saw.

Soon it was time to take a quick mush. As Rick was selecting the dogs that would go with us, he took time to show us how to set them in their harnesses. He asked me to choose a dog and strap it in. I was really excited, because I had a favorite dog from the walk-through I had done. I walked over to “Victory” and told him we were going running and he knew exactly what to do. He practically harnessed himself, due to my incompe- tence, and I could tell he really wanted to get mushing.

On the trail loop, we had a great time. Rick interacted with each dog, and called out to them in turn to help the team run efficiently. We stopped for a picture of the stunning view, and then finished at the base camp. I really felt a connection to the dogs and to the glacier. I was able to forget my cares and just have fun. This was a really valuable experience for me, and I treasure the memories gained from this trip. I am happy to consider Rick my friend.

Sincerely yours,

Steve Shumaker 

Today I had the honor of corresponding with this WARRIOR. We would like to highlight Andrew R. Jones USMC and his mission please like and share.

Andrew R. Jones is a Marine Corps Combat Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He served with Fox Company 2nd Battalion 23rd Marines, Regimental Combat Team 1, during the initial Shock and Awe campaign in 2003. He participated in combat operations as an Anti-Tank Assaultman in An Nasiriyah, Al Gharraf, Al Fajr and Baghdad. After returning home he was plagued with the memories of bodies littering the roads of An Nasiriyah; flattened to the asphalt by tanks, missing body parts from high caliber weapons and charred flesh from explosions. Al Gharraf brought a historical sandstorm just after an intense battle with Iraqi forces, resulting in a world of darkness, the scent of death and the distant screams from the town destroyed in the battle. A night operation in Al Fajr lead to the death of a Platoon Sergeant and the evacuation of a severely wounded Platoon Commander. Jones’ unit entered Eastern Baghdad on April 8, 2003 and began a foot patrol which led directly into an ambush with Iraqi Special Forces and the Ministry of Intelligence at the 5 points intersection of Baladayat Street. During this battle, he was rendered unconscious from the explosion of an RPG. After regaining consciousness, he was assisted to his feet and continued to fight beside his Marine brothers. Years later he would discover this blast resulted in a mild Traumatic Brain Injury. The Battle of Baghdad lasted through the night and the remaining Iraqi Forces retreated from their position by first light.

Enduring the nightmares, depression, mood swings, sleeplessness and every other symptom associated with Post Traumatic Stress, Andrew lost control of his life. This resulted in: two divorces, a violent criminal history, months in county iail, alcohol/substance abuse, countless street fights, self-mutilation and holding a .45 caliber pistol beneath his chin in a dark closet; choosing to not pull the trigger, he continued fighting his demons.

After eight years of this life, Andrew became tired. With the motivation and support of his girlfriend, now fiancé, Chelsea LaBarr and his family which never stopped loving him, he sought out therapy and began writing his thoughts and memories which were consuming his mind. He shared his writings with loved ones, then other vets from his unit and then with anyone he could reach out to. Today he continues to write and inspires other veterans and their loved ones to begin their journey of healing. He now dedicates his life to making a difference within the veteran community and ensuring no warrior is left behind after they come home.
We are highlighting are wounded heroes on our Facebook page and website. I am honored to start it off with a hometown hero from where I grew up. This warriors name is Mark Beyers USMC. A big thank you to his wife Denise for helping put this together. Please take a moment to read their incredible story.

Mark and Denise Beyers are high school sweethearts and have been dating since 1996. They both joined the Marine Corps in 1998. Mark left for boot camp in Feb. 1999 and Denise went to boot camp in March 1999. After training they came back to Buffalo, NY to fulfill there contracts with the Marine Corps Reserves, India Company, 3rd Bn, 25th Marines. In 2005, India Company was activated to go to Iraq. Denise stayed back in Buffalo with the Peacetime/Wartime Support Team while the rest of the company went overseas. On August 26, 2005, while on foot patrol, Mark was severely injured by an Improvised Explosive Device made of two 155 artillery shells. Mark was closest to the bomb and it severed his body causing amputations of his right arm above the shoulder and his right leg below the knee as well as critical blast injuries to his abdomen and chest. He was taken to Balad, Iraq where they put him in a drug induced coma. They flew him to a hospital in Landstuhl, Germany where he underwent many surgeries to save his life. Once he was stable enough they prepared him for the flight back to the United States. About a week after the blast, Denise flew to Bethesda, MD where she awaited Mark’s arrival at the National Naval Medical Center, the top hospital in the U.S. She met him in the ICU where Mark awoke for the first time since he was in a coma. After a month in Bethesda and many surgeries later, Mark was transferred to Walter Reed Army Medical Center to get fitted for prosthetics and for physical and occupational rehabilitation. It wasn’t until a year later that Mark and Denise were able to return to their lives back in Buffalo, NY. 
Once they were home, the couple had many more daily challenges to overcome. They lived in a small 1 bedroom apartment. The bathroom was so small Mark couldn’t fit his wheelchair through the door. He fell a few times because he would hop on one leg to use the bathroom and take a shower. A few months later they found a house they fell in love with; a one story ranch, handicapped accessible home with 15 acres. It sits on a hill in the country with a view like no other. It is here where they found their love of gardening, farming and self sufficient lifestyle. Being in nature is where they found their happiness. In 2009, while Mark was out in their woods deer hunting, he noticed they owned many Maple Trees. That spring they tapped some trees, collected the sap and made Maple Syrup. They fell in love with making Maple Syrup and a few years later they started their own business called Beyers Maple Farm, They plant a garden full of vegetables every year. They have free range chickens that provide fresh eggs daily and they raise meat chickens during the summer. They love to teach their young daughter, Eva, all about nature and the many blessings it provides. They take her wherever they go, even on the tractor. Denise loves to show Eva how to maintain the many flower gardens she planted around their property. She’s teaching Eva from a very young age that hard work is needed to go where you want in life and also to stop and smell the flowers.

100% Pure Maple Syrup, Beyers Maple Farm East Aurora, NY Home
Beyers Maple Farm is a new, Veteran owned, local business making 100% Pure Maple Syrup!

Noren Products Inc. has been solving thermal problems for over forty years. In that time we've designed and manufactured countless products for our clients that not only do the job, but exceeded all expectations.
Noren Products is committed to engineering and manufacturing quality solutions for a variety of thermal challenges in an atmosphere of excellence.

For over forty years Noren Products has been the industry leader in providing thermal solutions in a variety of industries and market sectors. The company is widely recognized for its ability to solve challenging design issues with its unique heat pipe technology, engineering team and fabrication expertise. 

Currently Noren Products is woman owned with an approach to continual improvement teaming with our employees and clients to provide innovative product solutions in more industries.

Founded in 1968 Noren Products, Inc. manufactures products based on heat pipe technology. The Company manufactures five different lines of products, all using the expertise and knowledge of its engineering and design staff. The Company is widely recognized for its ability to solve heat transfer challenges with cutting edge designs and technology
Noren Products Inc. has been solving thermal problems for over forty years. In that time we've designed and manufactured countless products for our clients that not only do the job, but exceeded all expectations. 

Our heat pipe technology is second to none with more diversity and adaptability than any other in our industry. Noren Products heat exchangers are built with this same heat pipe technology, enabling the end user to remove waste heat from their electrical components within a sealed enclosure without allowing harmful contaminants to enter the panel.

We would like to recognize Bear Paw Archery in Wasilla for helping support Battle Dawgs Racing and Alaska's Healing Hearts. Thank you for joining the Miler Club.

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