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Rex Specs Teams Up for Care Packages to Military K-9 Teams

As a small business, giving back is what often makes us smile at the end of a long day. With so many incredible people and organizations out there, choosing how to give back in the most effective way can sometimes be the toughest part of our jobs. But when we came across the Military Working Dog Team Support Association (MWDTSA), we knew we’d found a long term partner. Since 2006, MWDTSA has been sending care packages to dogs and their handlers who are deployed for active military duty. As a 100% volunteer organization, MWDTSA puts more than 98% of all donations, grants and other fundraising directly into their care packages (the other 1.7% pays admin/bank/government fees). Here at Rex Specs, we recently ran a promotion offering our dog goggles at a price of $45 for anyone to purchase on behalf of MWDTSA. Our sales totaled 61 pairs of goggles that will be shipped to the association next week to be included in care packages.


Formed in 2006 by Dixie Whitman and retired Army LTC Ken Besecker (a Combat Tracker Platoon commander in the Vietnam War), Dixie had heard from many Vietnam era handlers that they didn’t get a very warm welcome when they came home. “It was important for these Vietnam handlers to show the current handlers that someone cares,” said current MWDTSA President, Nikki Rohrig. “We wanted to show them a very high level of support and wanted to let this generation of dog handlers know that somebody at home has their back.”

Retired Army COL Dick Baumer is the First Vice President of the MWDTSA. He helped train more than 300 Scout Dogs and handlers in 1968 before deploying to Vietnam himself, to the same Combat Tracker Platoon Besecker later commanded. While the military provides meals and medical care for the dogs, most of the time the handlers don’t have access to supplies while out in the field (the medical care and food is located on bases). In addition, MWDTSA works to boost morale during deployments through their care packages. “Our main theme is that we support both ends of the leash,” said Baumer. “So we send health and comfort items to the handlers like beef jerky and coffee. From the dog side, we send things like digital thermometers for example so a handler in a really hot environment can take the dog’s temperature and see if the dog is under stress or needs to be pulled out.” With toys being the biggest reward for most dogs in the field, they can get destroyed pretty quick, so that’s another item MWDTSA puts in the mix -- but not before testing all potential new toys prior to mailing them out. “All the toys we send out have to pass the Toy Council first,” Baumer said. “That Toy Council is five retired military dogs. Some of the toys don’t last longer than 15 minutes.” Baumer said any toy that’s sent into the field has to last at least a full day with the Toy Council.


With a volunteer team of about 40 people scattered across more than 20 states, MWDTSA has sent more than 4,200 care packages in the past ten years, impacting close to 11,000 handlers and K-9s. “In many cases, we also send additional boxes throughout the year to support an entire kennel overseas,” Baumer said. “For example, about six months ago we were asked for disinfectant and brushes for a newly opened kennel in Iraq during the initial support of the push to retake areas from ISIS.”

It’s not cheap to send anything overseas -- the 708 care packages they sent in 2016 cost more than $12,000 in postage alone. According to Baumer, they couldn’t do what they do if they didn’t get most of the care package products donated from large companies or through reduced sale prices.


The reward for Dick and Nikki after a long day is hearing back from their teams or seeing the organization come full circle -- many of the handlers they support in the field later become volunteers of MWDTSA. So the next time you’re scratching your head on who to donate to, consider sending some cash to MWDTSA -- or maybe even joining their volunteer squad. The pictures alone are worth it!


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6 comments

  • where can i buy cheap jerseys.Authentic Sports Jerseys. The sponsors have paid anything from an estimated ?8m to ?120m to have their names associated with what is one
    of the two biggest nhl jerseys from china suppliers.

    Camilla
  • Is this a limited time program ? Or can we purchase/donate the goggles at anytime ?

    Suzil
  • This is amazing. I will most definitely help out our furry friends. That would be cool if we could send care packages to those pups who help keep our soldiers safe. xoxoxox much respect.

    Loreta Erickson

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Red Mirror

Blocks 99% of UVA and UVB Rays.

Allows 20% of light to pass. Very similar to sunglasses.

Impact Resistant. Mirrored lenses show more scratches than clear or smoke.

Giddy up! The Red Mirror lens is great for most dogs and is very similar to the smoke lens with a bit more style.

Clear

Blocks 99% of UVA and UVB

Allows 92% of light to pass

Impact Resistant. Offers best visibility when scratched.

For Everything except protection from brightness. Great for working, hunting or adventure dogs. Blocks UV is impact resistant and often is preferred by dogs. Great training lens, and when it gets scratched the scratches are not as visible to the dog as with other lens options.

Blue Mirror

Blocks 99% of UVA and UVB

Allows 15% of light to pass. Slightly darker than smoke and red mirror.

Impact Resistant. Mirrored lenses show more scratches than clear or smoke

DM's are rolling in! The Blue Mirror lens adds a touch of flare and is one of our darker lenses for dogs who have sensitivity to light. Perfect for use in sunny areas and for those who love that blue mirror look.

Silver Mirror

Blocks 99% of UVA and UVB

Allows 13% of light to pass. Our darkest lens.

Impact Resistant. Mirrored lenses show more scratches than clear or smoke.

STYLE! Add some flavor to the daily grind with our darkest lens, allowing only 13% of visual light to pass through, making it the best option if your dog has light sensitivity.

Smoke

Blocks 99% of UVA and UVB

Allows 20% of light to pass. Very similar to sunglasses.

Impact Resistant. Offers excellent visibility when scratched.

For everything! Overall the most versatile lens. Great for dogs that are rough on their equipment as it continues to offer good visibility when scratched.F

Green Mirror

Blocks 99% of UVA and UVB

Allows 15% of light to pass. Slightly darker than smoke and red mirror.

Impact Resistant. Mirrored lenses show more scratches than clear or smoke.

The Green Mirror lens adds a touch of flare and is one of our darker lenses for dogs that need some reprieve from the suns brightness.

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