Checkered Flag Foundation Awards Fourth Service Canine in Hero’s Homecoming Ceremony at Michigan International Speedway
On Sunday, August 22, the Checkered Flag Foundation celebrated the graduation of their fourth service canine through their CFF Service Dog fund. This time though, the Hero’s Homecoming took place at a unique location – a NASCAR race track.
CFF Founder Brad Keselowski, along with owner and lead trainer of Black Paw Canine Ben Brockway, awarded service canine Krew to his new owner and handler, Marine Corps Veteran and Michigan National Guard Chaplain Nate Cropsey, during a Hero’s Homecoming ceremony at Michigan International Speedway in advance of the Firekeeper’s Casino 400 green flag. The special ceremony took place on the pre-race stage and marked the beginning of Krew and Nate’s companionship. Together the two will support the Michigan military community and supporting active military servicemembers and veterans with engaging positive mental health.
Learn more about the heroes and how they will make an impact below:
Marine Corps Veteran and Michigan Army National Guard Chaplain Nate Cropsey:
DeWitt Michigan native Nate Cropsey served in the United States Marine Corps from 2005 to 2010 as an F-18 aircraft mechanic and rifle and pistol coach where he competed a Sea Service Deployment. After attending Cornerstone University and Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, Cropsey joind the Michigan National Guard in 2014 where he currently serves as the Chaplain of the 246 Transportation Battalion. In addition to serving as Chaplain, Cropsey serves his veteran community as the Directory of Support Programs at Zero Day, an organization that empowers veterans through intentional employment, purposeful training, housing and deliberate application of the discipline and core values inherent to military veterans.
Cropsey will be Krew’s new handler and will utilize Krew to positively impact his work with Zero Day and the National Guard’s victim advocacy programs. Therapy dogs like Krew are an essential asset to the field of mental health. Krew will act as a comfort and counteract the stressful feelings one might have when facing challenging moments brought about by therapy or traumatizing situations.
Certified Canine Therapy Dog Krew: Krew, an almost one-year-old male Aussiedoodle, has officially completed his training as a therapy dog and welcomed home by his new veteran handler Cropsey. Krew’s specialized training of basic obedience, reacting to anxiety and consoling those in emotional need has prepared him for the work he and Cropsey will do by serving the veteran community. Therapy dogs like Krew are an essential asset to the field of mental health. Krew will act as a comfort and counteract the stressful feelings one might have when facing challenging moments brought about by therapy or traumatizing situations. Krew and Cropsey will go on to do great things together.
Part of the Checkered Flag Foundation’s mission is to honor and assist those who sacrifice greatly for our country by supporting veterans during their journey back to civilian life. In support of this mission, one of CFF’s many initiatives is the Service Dog Fund, a grant program that sponsors the full cost of preparing and training canines for veteran service through the experienced training team at Black Paw Canine. To date, CFF has awarded four dogs during ‘Hero’s Homecoming’ ceremonies which essentially mark the dog’s graduation and their hand off to the deserving veteran selected.
Join the Checkered Flag Foundation and Black Paw Canine in supporting heroes by visiting CheckeredFlagDonation.org/Donate or CheckeredFlagFoundation.org/BlackPaw to donate directly to our Service Dog Fund. You can also make a purchase at our online store CheckeredFlagFoundation.org/Store.
For more information about Black Paw Canine and their mission and commitment to providing the best possible training for service canines, visit www.blackpawcanine.com.
In advance of the August 22 NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway, Michigan native and Checkered Flag Foundation Founder Brad Keselowski returned to his home state with wife, Paige, and their girls, Scarlett and Autumn, to visit the VA Fisher House Ann Arbor, a comfort home where military and veteran families can stay at no cost while loved ones are receiving treatment at the nearby VA Ann Arbor Medical Center.
The Checkered Flag Foundation is honored to receive the Second Quarter NMPA Pocono Spirit Award from the National Motorsports Press Association. It is always our mission to honor and serve heroes, and it humbles us for our service to be recognized by others. We sincerely appreciate the NMPA sharing this honor with us.
Operation purple healing adventures: How checkered flag foundation is supporting families of injured service members
PARKTON, N.C. (August 6, 2021)
Brad Keselowski's Checkered Flag Foundation has partnered with National Military Family Association since 2017 to provide family bonding retreats for wounded, ill, or injured service members. Operation Purple Healing Adventures (OPHA) are weekend-long experiences that allow families the quality time they need as they adjust to their "new normal"...life after sustaining a service-related injury. Families have the opportunity to partake in fun camp activities and uniquely designed exercises that promote connection and communications between family members -- at no cost to them!