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Nonprofits for veterans donate dog tags for Forsyth sheriff’s deputies

FORSYTH COUNTY — Two nonprofits that focus on helping veterans and their families recently joined forces to show support for local law enforcement and the protection it offers the community.

On Wednesday, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office received 350 dog tags emblazoned with a thin blue line and note of scripture.

David Dodd, a retired U.S. Army colonel who served from 1984 to 2011 and completed two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, is the executive director of Point27. The nonprofit creates and donates dog tags engraved with scripture to active armed forces personnel, veterans and family members of fallen soldiers.

“We reach out to folks to encourage, especially young troops getting ready to go to combat,” Dodd said.

The organization has given away more than 1 million dog tags to people “going to fight,” he said.

Three years ago, he said, a police officer in California asked him if he had seen the thin blue emblem that shows support for law enforcement.

“He asked would we want to make them and I said sure,” Dodd said. “We love the mission you guys have and are very thankful for keeping our communities safe, and we want to get behind it.”

Dodd worked with Joseph LaBranche, a Vietnam War veteran and founder of AboutFace-USA, a local nonprofit that aims to empower struggling veterans and their families.

“We came up with a verse that is familiar with law enforcement, which is Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God,” Dodd said.

“It’s just a little simple piece of metal. Obviously, it’s not going to stop a bullet, but it’s a physical reminder of God’s word and that He’s with you everywhere you go.

“I think about you guys a lot [being] out there on the streets at night, maybe in your patrol car by yourself. This is just a reminder that you’re not alone.”

A different dog tag was given to a family of four in Forsyth.

A gold star family, they lost a family member in combat, and Point27 gave them an emblem of a folded up American flag.

“I pray every day for you guys,” said LaBranche of his local law enforcement personnel, “and hope you get back to your families.”