Britnee Kinard, Caregiver
Recognizing outstanding achievement and excellence in providing care to veterans
Since 2010, Britnee Kinard has been a full-time caregiver for her husband, U.S. Army Purple Heart recipient Douglas H Kinard Jr., as well as a full-time mother to their two boys. The Kinards’ eldest son, Blayne, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, and Mixed Receptive/Expressive Language Disorder in 2013. He also suffers from Stephens-Johnson Syndrome.
In July 2014 Kinard founded the SD Gunner Fund, through which she provides assistance to soldiers and their families in Evans County, GA. The organization was inspired by Kinard’s own 15-month struggle to get her husband’s service dog, Gunner, approved by the V.A. He is now the 1st mobility service dog approved in the southeast coastal region.
The SD Gunner Fund assists Veterans and disabled children with the financial expenses associated with owning much-needed service animals, which require a variety of items in order to perform their duties. Service dogs are professionally trained to support individuals with mobility, hearing, psychiatric, and brain/neurological disabilities.
Outside of her work with the SD Gunner Fund, Kinard has also partnered with several other organizations to provide mental health support, battle buddy support, and assistance to military families with autistic children. She and her husband frequently speak at schools and other community organizations to raise awareness about PTSD, service animals, and caregiver support. In the next year, Kinard is looking to assist some 2,500-3,000 military families.