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The City of Largo, Florida, Presented First Annual Barbara Bush Citizen Patriot Award at 2017 Veterans Day Ceremony

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SOURCE Skyhorse Publishing; The City of Largo

LARGO, Fla., Nov. 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- In honor of those who have served in the US military, the City of Largo presented the first annual "Barbara Bush Citizen Patriot Award." The award, named after former First Lady Barbara Bush, was created to honor Mrs. Bush's selfless work throughout her lifetime of service, including her support for veterans and their families and her work with the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.

Vets and Pets: Wounded Warriors and the Animals That Help Them Heal (Skyhorse Publishing hardcover, $21.99, September 26, 2017)

The award recognizes a citizen who, in the spirit of Barbara Bush, has tirelessly worked to help our nation's heroes. The inaugural recipient is Dava Guerin, an author, former president of her own communications firm, and advocate for wounded warriors and their families. She is the coauthor, along with Kevin Ferris, of Unbreakable Bonds: The Mighty Moms and Wounded Warriors of Walter Reed and their newest book, Vets and Pets: Wounded Warriors and the Animals That Help Them Heal, both published by Skyhorse Publishing.

"Even though I am not with you today in Largo, I am there in spirit. It's such an honor that you not only named an award for me, but chose Veterans Day to present it," said Mrs. Bush. "George and I have known Dava for years, and she's always been a giving, generous person. But she truly touched our hearts with the two books she recently coauthored with Kevin Ferris: Unbreakable Bonds and Vets and Pets. Dava, along with Kevin, have inspired millions of Americans with their stories of true sacrifice and undying love among veterans and the people-and animals-who love and care for them," she added.

Vets and Pets tells fifteen emotional and inspirational stories of the bonds between wounded warriors, veterans, and other service members and their service and companion animals. A portion of the proceeds of the book will be donated to Pets for Patriots, a nonprofit that places shelter dogs and cats with veterans across the country. Unbreakable Bonds told the stories of mothers who spent years aiding the recovery of their children who have suffered severe injuries during the War on Terror.

The 2017 Veterans Day event hosted wounded warriors and veterans featured in Vets and Pets. The ceremony also included a video tribute by actor and philanthropist Gary Sinise, whose Gary Sinise Foundation has helped build homes and rebuild lives for severely injured veterans and first responders. "Veterans Day holds a very special place in my heart. I've devoted much of my time to helping veterans like you and will never forget your service and sacrifice. Congratulations to the current and future recipients of this award. Happy Veterans Day and God bless," said Sinise.

"We salute the veterans here with us today and congratulate Dava Guerin as the first recipient of our annual Barbara Bush Citizen Patriot Award," said Greg Brown, head of Largo's Parks Division. "We thank Mrs. Bush for being part of this meaningful award, as well as Congressman Clement, who is also a veteran, and the great Gary Sinise. We look forward to recognizing future American volunteers who have helped others in the spirit of Mrs. Bush," Brown added.

For more information or to nominate a 2018 Barbara Bush Citizen Patriot Award nominee, call Greg Brown at (727) 586-7415 or visit LargoParks.com.

Vets and Pets: Wounded Warriors and the Animals That Help Them Heal
By Kevin Ferris and Dava Guerin
Forewords by Barbara Bush and Andrea Arden
Skyhorse Publishing hardcover, also available as an ebook
September 26, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-5107-2193-7
$21.99

Book press requests: Tony Lyons
tlyons@skyhorsepublishing.com

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