America’s VetDogs Graduate and Board Member Competes In Amazon Prime Video’s World Toughest Race

SMITHTOWN, NEW YORK, August 12, 2020 – America’s VetDogs is proud to announce U.S. Army Command Sgt. Major (Ret) Gretchen Evans will be competing in Amazon Prime Video’s World’s Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji. Evans, a longtime board member and hearing dog program graduate, created “Team Unbroken”, a foursome of military veterans who work through their combat-related disabilities, wounds and internal struggles, to participate in the epic, gritty and unpredictable race that takes place in Fiji. 

Evans was teamed with hearing dog Aura in January 2015, who was specially trained to perform hearing dog tasks to assist with Evans daily activities including responding and alerting to sounds. Aura does this by determining the location of the sound and alerting Evans by poking her in the leg with her nose. Then the dog will take her to the source of the sound. According to Evans, “I went from being a blown-up deaf person to a person who now feels safe and secure in the world. Without Aura, I would have never dreamed of applying to compete in Amazon Prime Video’s World’s Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge. She gives me confidence to put myself out there and advocate to others with disabilities, that you may be wounded, but you remain unbroken.”

“We are extremely proud to have Gretchen compete in Amazon Prime Video’s World’s Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji,” says President & CEO, America’s VetDogs John Miller, “Gretchen embodies the VetDogs’ mission of providing enhanced mobility and independence to individuals with disabilities. Her participation in the Eco-Challenge is a true testament that with determination, hard work, support and strength, you too can live a life without boundaries.”  

World’s Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji is hosted and executive produced by Bear Grylls, and from executive producers Lisa Hennessy, Eric Van Wagenen, and Emmy Award-winning producer Mark Burnett. Eco-Challenge is the ultimate expedition race in which teams will race non-stop, 24 hours a day, across hundreds of miles of rugged backcountry terrain complete with mountains, jungles and oceans. Each race team is comprised of four competitors, including at least one member of the opposite sex, and one assistant crewmember that will be helping their team from base camp. Each team will race under a single country flag while making their way through some of the most impenetrable terrain Fiji has to offer. 

Teams are racing to raise awareness for a variety of causes. “Team Unbroken” is raising awareness for America’s VetDogs, a New York based, national non-profit that provides service dogs to military veterans and first responders with disabilities, free of charge. 

The 10-episode series, produced by MGM Television, will premieres worldwide on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, August 14th, 2020. 

Media RSVP: Allison Storck, 631-334-2615,

About America’s VetDogs
Since 2003, America’s VetDogs ( has trained and placed guide and service dogs to provide independence, enhanced mobility, and companionship to veterans with disabilities from all eras. In 2015, VetDogs opened its programs to first responders, including fire, police, and emergency medical personnel.  America's VetDogs is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded by the Guide Dog Foundation and serves clients from across the United States.  VetDogs relies on contributions from generous individuals, corporations, service clubs, and foundations to fund its mission to help those who have served our country live with dignity and independence.  It costs over $50,000 to breed, raise, train, and place one assistance dog, but America’s VetDogs provides its services completely free of charge to the individual. America’s VetDogs has been accredited by both the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International.  

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