A $225,000 donation from the American Valor Foundation’s Chris Kyle Memorial Benefit will help Smoky Mountain Service Dogs train more canines and serve more veterans.


“This generous gift will help support our mission to help as many veterans as we can,” said Mike Kitchens, chairman of Smoky Mountain Service Dogs, which is located in Lenoir City. “We are beyond grateful to the American Valor Foundation and the Chris Kyle Memorial Benefit for supporting our organization.”


The American Valor Foundation, located in Hamilton, Texas, is a non-profit corporation committed to supporting military veterans, first responders and their families. Each year, the American Valor Foundation selects a recipient for the Chris Kyle Memorial Benefit to honor the legacy of the U.S. Navy SEAL who died Feb. 2, 2013. Chris Kyle’s motto was: “It’s our duty to serve those who serve us.”


“Smoky Mountain Service Dogs could not be a more deserving and gracious organization,” said Deby Kyle, president of the American Valor Foundation and mother of the late Chris Kyle, author of “American Sniper.” His book was made into a movie directed by Clint Eastwood.


She added, “We are truly honored to be part of the Smoky Mountain Service Dogs’ family and help them improve the daily lives of veterans.”


The $225,000 donation will be the foundation for an upcoming capital campaign to help Smoky Mountain Service Dogs build a new training and kennel facility. Plans for the campaign will be announced soon.


Smoky Mountain Service Dogs seeks to increase the number of service dogs trained and veterans helped per year, and, in turn, further the organization’s mission to enhance the physical and psychological quality of life for veterans with service-related disabilities.


For more information about Smoky Mountain Service Dogs, visit www.smokymountainservicedogs.org. For more information about the American Valor Foundation, visit www.americanvalorfoundation.org.