Guide Dogs On Campus


USMMA honors the Guide Dog Foundation and America’s VetDog


Athletic Director Kristofer Schnatz and John Miller, the President and CEO of the Guide Dog Foundation and America’s VetDog.

On Saturday, Oct. 8, the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) invited the Guide Dog Foundation and America’s VetDog to campus to be honored at their afternoon football game. The USMMA football team played against Norwich University, The Military College of Vermont in Northfield, Vermont.

John Miller, the President and CEO of the Guide Dog Foundation and America’s VetDog attended the game and was named the honorary captain of the game. Organization volunteers and guide dogs were also invited to campus for the game.

According to the Guide Dog Foundation website, the organization was founded to improve the quality of life for people who are blind, have low vision, or have other special needs. In 2003, the Guide Dog Foundation created America’s VetDogs to provide assistance dogs to America’s wounded veterans. While the two organizations are separate corporations, they share staff and other resources to provide the best services possible to people with disabilities.

“It’s been a phenomenal experience,” said Miller. “[USMMA] has rolled out the red carpet for us. All the dogs are here, and they are loving the facility. I’m really impressed with everything going on here.”

USMMA staff and America’s VetDog members with guide dogs on the field before the football game. (Photos by Lou Bernardi)

“It has been great having all the dogs here running around on campus and getting the exposure to what we do here on campus,” said Athletic Director Kristofer Schnatz. “Today, we are recognizing the foundation itself and the good that it does for the community.”

The partnership between USMMA and America’s VetDogs helps raise awareness for the organizations.

“Today, we are here to raise awareness for the three things we always need,” said Miller. “We need people who need our services, we need volunteers and we need donors, so this event helps us get all of that.”

To learn more about the Guide Dog Foundation and America’s VetDogs, visit

Aside from honoring the organizations, USMMA football played a great game. The Oct. 8 game was the fourth straight win for the USMMA football team. They beat Norwich University 19-7.

To check out highlights from the game and see the schedule for future USMMA sports games, visit

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