For the past 43 years, Rick and Donna Wanless have lived on a large 25-acre farm, enjoying the perfect weather and gorgeous landscape. As they grew older, they realized that they could be doing a lot more to help others who could benefit from the peaceful atmosphere and decided to share. They have both retired, and now in their 70’s have begun to transform their property into a place for veterans and first responders to recover from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
They came up with the name Honor House, a nod to the honorable professions and service done by the people who would need to undergo therapy and rehabilitation.
A gazebo, stable, and a large guest house will be available for therapy programs and various treatment activities, although they are still building small houses and rooms to accommodate out-of-town visitors. For now, many of the veterans and first responders will be staying in a nearby housing project until enough space has been built.
We’re hoping it will provide a bit of an escape from the rigors of everyday life, where people could come and camp and fish and do some boating,” said Wanless. “At some point in the future, the main house may well become gifted to the first responders and to Honor House but at the present time we’re just sharing what we’ve got with them.”
The couple hopes that their actions will inspire others to do the same, encouraging veterans and first responders to seek out a safe place to heal.
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