Archive for the ‘San Diego’ Category
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On September 5, 2015 the Patriot Service Dogs graduation was at Cecil Field in Jacksonville, Florida. Jeanne Coyne attended the event and were able to meet and speak with each of the Vets that received one of the service dogs our company sponsored.
As part of the graduation, each Veteran stood up and spoke a few minutes about their particular situation and how they had been suffering in one way or another since returning home from combat overseas. They each have had their service dog since January and had an opportunity to see how their dog would impact their life. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room. Jeanne said it was very touching to hear how well each Veteran was now doing since receiving their service dog and how their dog has totally impacted their life in a positive way. The dogs wake them when they see they are having a nightmare; they can sense when they are having a panic attack and quickly respond to calm them; they help turn on lights; retrieve items; etc.
After the Veterans spoke, Susan (one of the owners of Patriot Service Dogs) called up two women to the podium who had previously been inmates and participated in the WOOF (Women Offering Obedience and Friendship) program. The Patriot Service Dogs program uses women who are serving time at the Lowell Correctional Facility to help raise and train the dogs from the time they are puppies until they are teamed up with a Veteran. The women spoke about how being selected for the program had changed their lives. One woman had spent four years in the facility and during that time not one person visited her, no one wrote to her, she had absolutely no outside contact from anyone. She was selected for the WOOF program and given a puppy to raise and train. She told the audience how that experience totally changed who she was as a person and how it forever changed her life. To finally have something that loved her back, unconditionally. She said had it not been for this program, she would have left prison a hardened person. Instead, she left as a person that cares about something, that will forever want to have animals in her life, and will now be a contributor to society. Again, there was not a dry eye in the room.
Susan thanked their sponsors, including Old Town Trolley, for their invaluable contribution. Afterwards, Jeanne met with the three Veterans that received the dogs sponsored by OTT, Brett and Freedom, Don and Diego, and Joey and Valor. They were eternally grateful for the opportunity to be given a service dog and for the help the dogs have provided them. Jeanne said Brett put it best when he said “Freedom gave me my life back.”
Susan indicated to Jeanne that OTT provided enough money that there are actually two more dogs going through training now that we sponsored. And she hoped that the partnership could continue. They have a long list of Veterans waiting and are continuing to look for people that can dedicate the time and resources to training more dogs. They hope to eventually raise enough money to purchase a training facility and expand their services.
Susan said she looked forward to coming back to Old Town St. Augustine on Veterans Day with new dogs that are going through training.
On June 20th, bleep bleep years ago a beautiful baby girl was born in San Diego, California. The youngest of 5 siblings, daughter of an RN and a Gunnery Sergeant in the USMC… O.K. I know I don’t need to go that far back. However, I am from beautiful San Diego. Graduated from SDSU with a Bachelors in Criminal Justice, with Honors of course. I’m the proud mother of two awesome children who really make it easy to be a parent, one of whom is an amazing football player at Bartram Trails High School. He patiently and repeatedly instructs his football challenged mother on the duties of a running back and realizes that by the time he’s playing for the NFL, I’ll finally get it.
We (my children and I) migrated to St. Augustine, Florida in 2010 looking for a climate that was similar to California’s weather. I thought I had found a match until the summer’s heat and humidity hit me like a ton of bricks. However, the warm ocean, competitive school district, beautiful scenery combined with a hope and prayer, convinced me to stay and I now consider myself to be a true Floridian. One of the best outcomes of moving to Florida was finding Old Town Trolley, a company that truly cares about their employees as much as their customers. After running my own business for over three years I began to yearn for something more. So, I submitted my resume for an open position in the National Call Center and 9 months later, I’m writing my bio for The Nation’s Storyteller. Pretty impressive, right?
There are a few things about me that are worthy of mentioning. First, I’m a free spirit who loves to travel. I’ve pretty much been all over the country but haven’t quite made it outside of the US. Unless we count Mexico, which literally sits in San Diego’s backyard. There’s something about touring a new city, with nothing but a map to guide me through the streets, that gives me a feeling of peace and freedom. Secondly, I find laughter to be one of the most important events of my day. “With all the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die.” (Copied this from Abraham Lincoln but still so true.) Lastly, shopping is one of my favorite pastimes. Give me a credit card, a bottled water, some comfortable shoes and I’ll be ready for the greatest sport ever invented.”
“I’ve been with OTT/San Diego for two and half years. I first discovered OTT when my wife and I visited California to see family in Orange County. We would often drive to San Diego since we were planning to move here after I retired. We took the Old Town Trolley tour on a couple of occasions, and we both thought it would be a perfect “retirement job” for me. However, retirement, and the coast-to-coast move, was not going to happen just yet. I had a job to finish.
I was born in Buffalo, NY and spent most of my childhood there. As a teenager, my family moved 60 miles to the east, to Rochester. After many attempts to join the Olympic underwater sandwich-making team, and having endured an epic “fail” at my Chippendale’s audition, I decided to become one of “Rochester’s Finest” at the tender age of twenty-one. During the next 20 years I got to play cops and robbers, chasing the bad guys, shooting lots of guns, and driving really, really fast. With a red light and siren!
I worked in the vice-squad as an undercover narcotics officer, kicked in drug house doors during raids, and instructed for ten years in firearms, self-defense, pursuit driving, and domestic violence. As a hostage negotiator, I talked people from plunging to their deaths, coaxed armed gunmen out of hiding, and smoked cigarettes with people on the wrong side of the railing. During my last two years, I was honored to serve as the Department Spokesperson before retiring from service in 2012.
Now, while at the perfect “retirement job,” I am also working to carve out a career in the larger entertainment field including plays, musicals, film, and voice-over work.”
The Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa is set on the sands of Mission Bay and just six miles from San Diego International Airport. The hotel has 357 stylish guest rooms including eight spacious suites with beautiful views of Mission Bay. The Concierge Desk is led by Chief Concierge Gordon “Gordy” Berry with Concierge Kerry Martensen by his side. They both just recently came from the Loews Coronado Bay Resort. Gordy has been a Concierge for seven years and has been at the Hilton for four months. Both Gordy and Kerry are amazing supporters of the Old Town Trolley and SEAL Tours. They both offer our tickets through our online Trusted Tours ticket program and are some of the top sellers in the city. The Bell Staff are also great fans of our tours as we offer a complimentary shuttle to the hotel every morning and the Bell staff welcomes our Trolley every morning at their lobby. We thank the entire team at the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa for being such wonderful partners!