Man raises money for service dogs for veterans by kayaking over 4,000 miles

Published: Oct. 28, 2022 at 5:50 PM EDT
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LITTLE RIVER, S.C. (WMBF) - Friday was a busy day for the Hutton House in Little River.

The Veterans Welcome Home Center is finally getting a new memorial, thanks to some staff members with the North Myrtle Beach Lowes Home Improvement store.

The project will be completed in about two weeks. While that crew was working, a special visitor stopped by for a much-needed break.

Jimmy Thomas is an Army Veteran, and he’s in the middle of kayaking from Upstate New York all the way to Key West, Florida, which is over 4,000 miles.

Thomas started Doggie Paddle, which is an organization with a mission to raise money for Veterans to get service dogs. Doggie Paddle was inspired by Boots, Thomas’ service dog, who sadly passed away a few months ago.

“I had a service dog, I see how effective they can be, how important they are to not just me, my family, and without going into all the details, he would basically keep you motivated, and alive, and alive is an underestimate of what they can do,” said Thomas.

Once Thomas gets to Florida, he will bicycle back to New York.