Eric Donoho In the fall of 2004, Eric enlisted in the United States Army as an Airborne Infantryman. In December of that year, he reported to Sand Hill for Basic Training, Advanced Individual Training (AIT), and Airborne School. It was during this time that Eric found himself and while it was challenging it was also a perfect fit. It was, in all honesty, some of the best months of his life. On June 8, 2005, Eric boarded a plane heading to his first duty station, Fort Richardson, Alaska. It was on this flight that he meant his wife; he noticed her the minute she walked onto the plane. He just kept thinking please sit next to me, please sit next to me, and to his surprise she did. They were married 10 months later and are still going strong after more than 12 years.
In October 2006 Eric’s unit deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). On his first night in Iraq, while conducting a mission with his platoon, Eric was blown up by an IED. That set the tone for his 14 month deployment and in total Eric was directly hit by two IED’s and one EFP.
Upon returning stateside and conducting a post health assessment, Eric was transferred to the Warrior Transitions Unit where he received the news that he had a choice to make; another MOS or retirement. After being told that he couldn’t choose the MOS he wanted, it would take him back to the front lines, he chose retirement. In February 2009, Eric was medically retired for Traumatic Brain Injury, Migraines, and Post Traumatic Stress (PTS).
Eric is the recipient of the Purple Heart, 2 Army Commendation Medals, 2 Army Achievement Medals, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Operation Iraqi Freedom Campaign Medal with Star, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Valorous Unit Award, and Combat Infantry Badge.
After completing the 2016 Warriors to Summits series, Eric has embraced the No Barriers life elements by implementing them into his everyday life. He credits this new outlook on life as being one the reasons he has had so much success in moving forward. Eric and his story of recovery was the February 2017 Cover Story for the VFW Magazine. He has traveled throughout the country sharing that story, while trying to make a positive impact in other veteran’s lives. It was however, Eric’s successful completion of his No Barriers pledge, to show his photography in a gallery, that has led to life changing opportunities. After that first gallery show ended, he created a successful small business selling his photography to corporations and individuals. He has been honored with having his work shown in the National Exhibit of Veteran Art, in Aspen, CO during Art Week. He has also found himself starting another career as a Public Speaker, highlighting the importance of faith in humanity, community, and motivation to keep climbing in life. Eric is also involved with the No Barriers Community as a Veteran Advocate, volunteering whenever he can. Eric credits this community with providing him positive friendships, inspiration, mentoring, and encouragement to keep climbing in his own life.
Dave Emanuel Dave grew up in the Northeast and lived in Southern California and Houston, Texas prior to moving to Georgia. He and his wife Kathy have lived in Snellville for 34 years and have two adult children and two German Shepherd dogs. In addition to serving his second term as a Snellville City Councilman. Dave is a member of the Evermore CID Board of Directors, and has been appointed to the Board of Directors for Snellville Downtown Development Authority, Urban Redevelopment Agency and Development Authority of Snellville. Prior to his 2011 election as a City Councilman, Dave served for two years on the City’s Planning Commission. He is a graduate of the Snellville Citizen’s Police Academy (CPA), a member of the CPA Alumni Association, a member of the Snellville Tourism and Trade Association (STAT) and a regular volunteer at City civic functions. A number of years ago, Dave and Kathy launched “Give Hunger the Boot”, a program that has raised over $300,000 in food and financial donations for the local food co-op.
Brinks Burgess-Co-Founder HI, my Name is Brinks. I am a Rottweiler/Shepherd Mix. My human Daddy, met me when I was 8 weeks old at the Athens GA shelter while he was in school at UGA. My Daddy states when I as a little brown and black ball of fur started chewing his shoe laces it was an instant connection which would start a long incredible journey. At one year old I had already saved my Daddy’s life several times when he would take His CPAP off at night. I do this by licking his face. I also saved my Daddy’s life when he had a reaction to a new medication and was comatose. I licked his face and stayed on his chest until he was finally able to wake up. My Daddy has Traumatic Brain Injuries so he is more susceptible to head injuries then most people. In 2013 my Human Daddy was working on making a privacy fence when the wind blew a board which hit my Day in the head and knocked him out. I jumped an existing 5 foot wire fence and went and barked at the neighbor’s door until she came out. When my Daddy woke up I had jumped back over the fence and dropped his cell phone on his chest which was sitting on the porch. Although I already knew our life’s calling was to start a service dog organization so other dogs can do what I do, my Daddy still didn’t know yet. My Daddy will even admit he can be a little slow sometimes. I have done hundreds of demonstrations, traveled nationwide, saved my Daddy’s life numerous times, trained numerous other dogs, and am the pack leader, in addition to numerous other tasks. I am also on the dog selection committee. Most dogs Freedom Fidos has trained have come through my committee. While my Daddy tries his best to speak Doganese,(he even barks sometimes) he still doesn’t speak it as good as I do. My favorite activity is when Daddy throws the Tennis ball to me. I also carry groceries, retrieve things off the ground for my Daddy, bring him his shoes every day, help him find his vehicle when he comes out of a building, and so much more. If I haven’t met you yet, I so hope I get to meet you soon. Thank you for reading about me and my Daddy’s incredible journey.