Television personality Mike Rowe is well-known for his time on the hit show “Dirty Jobs,” but now he’s spreading smiles with a new show called “Returning the Favor” on Facebook Watch, the television network for Facebook.
Rowe’s “Returning the Favor” is meant to be a humorous, inspiring and feel-good show that features Rowe as host, traveling the country in search of people who are striving to do good things and make a difference in the world around them. He then surprises them with rewards for their kindness.
Rowe and his crew recently surprised USMC Combat Veteran Christopher Baity and his wife Amanda, the founders of veteran service organization Semper K9 Assistance Dogs. While his television crew was filming a “documentary” about Semper K9, Rowe walked in mid-filming at their home office in Woodbridge. “I instantly recognized his voice when he said ‘Hello.’ as a voice I had heard before,” said Amanda Baity, Semper K9’s Director of Operations. “Once he peeked around the entryway I didn’t know what to think other than ‘OMG Mike Rowe is here in Woodbridge…in my house!”
Little did the Baitys know, members of their volunteer team had been plotting to surprise the couple for months. "It truly was a challenge to plan something of this size without them finding out,” said Tisa Newhouse, Volunteer Coordinator and board member. “There were some close calls but the look on their faces when the big reveal day came made all the long hours of planning and chaos more than worth it.”
Christopher, an Iraq War veteran, was an SSD and MWD handler and trainer in the Marine Corps and a CWD handler on a civilian deployment to Afghanistan. Also kennel master at HQ Marine Corps Henderson Hall, he started Semper K9 to give back to other veterans struggling with combat trauma while using the skills he was taught by the Marine Corps. “This honor to be chosen by ‘Returning the Favor’ is huge for Semper K9 and the veterans we serve,” said Christopher Baity, the nonprofit’s Executive Director. “This has given us a substantial advantage to where we can accelerate our programs and help more veterans faster.”
Their episode of Returning the Favor will air in Season 2 which is currently showing on Facebook Watch. To find out what the Baitys and Semper K9 were surprised with other than a visit from Rowe and being highlighted on his show, stay tuned. “We can’t wait to share with everyone!” said Baity.
To learn more about Semper K9, visit www.SemperK9.org.
About Semper K9 Assistance Dogs: Semper K9 Assistance Dogs is a combat veteran founded and operated 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides assistance dogs for wounded, critically ill and injured members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. Christopher Baity, Semper K9’s Executive Director, is an OIF combat veteran Marine Corps dog trainer and kennel master with three combat deployments, one civilian deployment to Afghanistan and two additional overseas deployments with military working dogs. To learn more about Semper K9 at www.SemperK9.org and follow them on social media: @SemperK9