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Patriot PAWS: Service Dogs for Disabled Veterans

Highly trained, four-legged friends do more than just provide companionship —they serve our heroes. Man’s Best Friend Turned Helper Ever since she was a child, Lori Stevens has loved dogs for their unconditional love, loyalty, devotion, and friendship. Her love for dogs grew into a career and she became a certified professional dog trainer. In 2005, her son joined the military following in his grandfather’s footsteps which further solidified her admiration for those who serve our country. That same year, several disabled veterans contacted her for help to train their dogs. “After working with these veterans and visiting the VA Hospital in Dallas, I realized just how many of our disabled veterans are in desperate need of assistance dogs and I knew I had to help,” recalls Stevens. Watch this short video of Stevens on the importance of the work they do… It started in 2006 in a small storefront in Rockwall, Texas, where Stevens and a few friends opened up Patriot PAWS Service Dogs, a privately funded non-profit organization. They had the capacity to train only eight dogs at

Jessica Cox: A Real-Life Superwoman

At its core, this is a human story of grit, resilience and extraordinary achievement. People who soar to great heights while inspiring others to do the same are an uncommon breed. They come from all backgrounds and arrive in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most develop their abilities over their lifetimes, little-by-little, as their experiences shape them. More uncommon still are the few who are simply born to be leaders. Let’s meet an extraordinarily rare born leader.    Baby Jessica first graced our earth in February 1983 when born to Inez and William Cox in Sierra Vista, Arizona, a mountainous Sonoran Desert suburb of Tucson. Her parents’ hearts were broken, their sense of normalcy shattered when they first saw their baby’s body. Due to a rare birth defect, Jessica was born without upper limbs. One of life’s great moments of pride and joy shifted sharply to grief and worry. The Grieving Process Everyone’s grieving process is unique and personal. While the Cox’s worked through their initial stages, including denial, anger and guilt, they mostly worried for their beautiful little girl’s

Emma Sky: Advisor and Confidant to Military Leaders

Despite her anti-war stance, her journey takes her to the frontlines in the shifting sands of the Middle East. It was a “Time of Monsters” in the Middle East, when Emma Sky navigated through the region’s conflicts and complexities during the Arab Spring. She bore witness to how and why dreams of new orders based on rights and justice were shattered in wars and weak states – and demons unleashed upon the world. Now a professor at Yale, she is heralded as a regional expert, helping to bridge gaps between Arab and Western worlds while elevating humanity in the region. Sky chose to live in a world unlike any other. In the swirling of desert sands, she found the land to be magical, ever-changing yet always a tinderbox for war. She tread softly alongside top military leaders and traversed the desert terrain finding it riddled with politics and diplomatic figures of great power and influence. Her journey has intrigue, politics, and edge-of-your seat harrowing tales. Not one to let her morals and ideals take a back seat, her opposition to

Operation Smile: The Second Generation of Hope

Continuing the journey set by their parents, the Magee siblings are working to expand compassion worldwide. All the siblings of the Magee family have not only carried on their parents’ legacy of compassion which you can read about in our article Operation Smile, but each has risen to excellence in their own respective careers and causes. Growing up, they accompanied their parents, William and Kathy Magee, on medical missions in foreign lands and pitched in to help where they could. The training they received while on these missions and the example set by their parents, shaped their own future goals in life. Since their youth, they’ve recognized the impact and joy of selfless dedication in restoring health and dignity to the people who need it most. They can see it in the smiles of those they have helped. What have the Magee siblings been up to? Here is a snapshot of each of their contributions to the betterment of mankind … William Magee, III, MD, DDS – Leading Plastic and Craniofacial Surgeon The oldest sibling, William “Billy” Magee, III, first

Stephen Wiltshire: Remarkable Artist

Just a brief observation and entire cityscapes are drawn as finely detailed masterpieces — from memory. An Exceptional Talent Imagine flying over the world’s most memorable metropolitan cities, glimpsing the panorama below, imprinting the vision in your memory, and coming back to the studio to recreate in painstaking nuance, every detail, completely from memory. This is the innate talent of British artist, Stephen Wiltshire, now 45. Like the character Dustin Hoffman played in Barry Levinson’s 1988 film, Rainman, British artist Stephen Wiltshire possesses some extraordinary and inexplicable abilities. His remarkable artistic talent is linked to an equally remarkable and photographic memory.   Researchers postulate that unique wiring between the two hemispheres of the brain allow certain people to access reserves of creativity, unavailable to most of us. Wiltshire is one of those people.  His motto is: “Do the best you can and never stop.” The Early Years As a child, Wiltshire exhibited exceptional artistic abilities, even though he didn’t speak until the age of five, when he uttered his first word, “paper.” In school, he was fascinated with sketching images of wildlife,

Jim Murphy: Flying High in the Corporate Cockpit

Trained to connect strategy with execution, this F-15 fighter pilot developed a powerful concept for growing businesses. The Start of Greatness He exuded an aura of confidence, standing center stage to deliver his inspirational and illuminating message, in a dark green military pilot flight suit. It was adorned with the badges of an experienced airman. The audience expected to hear about war, jets, and harrowing combat tales. They sit and listen as his commanding, yet approachable voice filled the room. “It’s a great time to execute and take market share!” Murphy says. Wait, what? Market share? To their surprise, this airman is not only a master of advanced aviation, he’s also of a brilliant business mind. Corporations stand in line to gain an understanding of Murphy and Afterburner’s winning methodology, Flawless Execution℠. Upping the Execution Game When everything is life or death, there’s no room for mistakes. Jim Murphy sat in the cockpit of an F-15, as he had done thousands of times before, but this time, he made a connection that would change his life forever. Murphy reflected on

Ben Anderson: Award-Winning War Correspondent

He’s in the trenches reporting on the ravages of war and its human toll — true-life dramas that don’t make front page news. Places You’ve Never Been To, Things You’ve Never Seen Ben Anderson stands feet away from combat soldiers as they try to rescue prisoners trapped in a dilapidated building. In the distance, plumes of black smoke rise revealing a city smoldering in ruin. It’s war, and Anderson is front and center, risking his life for his reporting. As an award-winning journalist, television reporter, and writer who is well known for his work on VICE News on HBO and BBC, Anderson goes the distance to get the story. He’s been to some of the most dangerous nations in the world like Afghanistan, North Korea, and Libya, armed with a video camera, pen and paper in hand, watching international politics play out right before his eyes. Get a firsthand look at Anderson in action in this VICE News video clip… Conflict Resolution Anderson was raised in the relatively sleepy hamlet of Bedford, England and now resides in Brooklyn, New York, a

Leigh Steinberg: The Legend Behind Jerry Maguire

It’s this simple. Leigh Steinberg is a living legend in his business, which places him in truly rarified air. His life, and his four decades-long career as a sports agent, have been so richly varied, so replete with triumphs, setbacks and re-emergences, that he is a treasure trove ripe for exploration. And that we did. Throomers is exceptionally grateful to Mr. Steinberg for both his transparency and largesse on behalf of our readers. Who a man ultimately becomes can often be traced to his roots. This is certainly the case here. Leigh Steinberg was born and raised in Los Angeles, which may begin to explain his ‘reach for the stars’ personality and driving work ethic. His father and mother were a teacher and librarian respectively, which accounts for his penchant for intellectualism and eloquent communication skills, and his habitually being in the service of others. How many can say that when at college, in this case UC Berkeley, they were Resident Advisor to Steve Wozniak, a founding member of Apple Computer? Just Leigh Steinberg, we imagine. Whether he suggested to

Jim Blackburn: Your Potential & How To Become The Person You Are Meant To Be

Becoming the person you are meant to be is not about becoming a better person.  It is about potential. Expanding and adding to the unique and significant talents and human qualities that you already possess.  Said differently, it’s about realizing your unfulfilled “potential” with “potential” being defined as… “our existing, but hidden and not yet developed, human qualities and talents that lead to successful endeavors.” “Your unfulfilled “potential” is like a huge ocean waiting to be sailed, a new continent unexplored, and a world of possibilities waiting to be released and channeled toward some greater good…” Exploring the Unfulfilled How do you know when you have unfulfilled “potential” you might be thinking? You have unfulfilled “potential” if you are experiencing any of the following: Persistent struggle and/or feelings of being overwhelmed and out of control… Unexpected personal and/or professional relationship terminations… Increasing bouts of depression, feelings of guilt, and/or the tendency to be preoccupied with worry… Unpredictable irritability with the people closet to you as well as an inability to feel happiness and optimism… Strong resistance to change… more… What

Dr. Zahi Hawass: Egyptian Antiquities’ Living Legend

Egypt’s celebrated archaeologist is piecing together 4,700 years of his country’s rich heritage, illuminating an ancient civilization for the world to see. He is Egypt’s Indiana Jones and wears his signature hat on every adventure. You can find world-renowned Egyptologist, Dr. Zahi Hawass sifting through the desert sands of Egypt making discoveries lost to time. His goal is to preserve Egypt’s cultural heritage that has been raided and sold throughout the world. Among his major discoveries are the tombs of pyramid-builders at Giza, pyramids of Khufu and Teti, and the Valley of Golden Mummies at Bahariya Oasis. From valleys to underground tunnels to hidden chambers, his discoveries and experiences are the stuff legends are made of.   Recently, Dr. Hawass has been involved in a large-scale project covering pharaonic sites in Saqqara, Middle and Upper Egypt, and the Nile Delta. “The thrill of a discovery … You can’t really explain it,” he says in one of his lectures. “We have to look at every piece of sand to find what’s hidden.” In an interview with World Archaeology, he discloses, “But the