Heroes’ Passage: A Retreat for Veterans
The concept of Heroes’ Passage (HP) has come about thru the generous donation from a Kentucky gentleman of 110.5 acres. It is in the middle of nowhere, by Olive Hill and straddling two Counties…Elliot and Carter. The populations are small and less than 30,000 folks total.
It is safe to say that the property is in rural Kentucky. It is shaped like a bowl and so when the structures are implemented…it will have a feeling of a world all of its own.
The land for Heroes’ Passage development has been in the ownership of Veterans’ Outreach since February 2017. Since then, the founder and president John Ely saw a chance to really be able to help veterans that have fallen on hard times because of their experiences with the impact of war. Drugs, PTSD, and infirmities of all sorts that hinder hurting veterans from enjoying the American Dream, that they laid their lives down for to protect for everyone else.
The founder’s brother, a disabled Vietnam Vet, and his father, a Pearl Harbor Survivor, disabled vet, were the true reasons for John Ely to grab on to this opportunity. He witnessed firsthand the debilitating impacts that servicemen and women often suffer. To be able to help this new generation of afflicted veterans, namely those post 911 veterans, that still have their whole life in front of them. In spite of their otherwise lifelong physical and mental disabilities, this retreat could be the best way to get them helped, for the long term, like the rest of their lives.
The original conceptual has been done only by John Ely on the scope and early development of such a program. He didn’t research or have any other direction from other individuals or like projects or such offerings.
First off, the property had a working farm on it from 1920 till the 1960’s. So the raising of a farm would be the most important aspect of the property…the center piece. Livestock and agricultural elements would be of the highest technology with aquaculture and hydroponic farming in the mix. There is interest from the Department of Agriculture.
We hope to pursue particular kinds of aquaculture including fish farming, shrimp farming, oyster farming, mariculture, alga culture (such as seaweed farming), and the cultivation of ornamental fish. Methods include aquaponics and integrated multi-trophic aquaculture, both of which integrate fish farming and plant farming.
So the farm has many perspective levels of intriguing and invaluable experiences and life-changing attributes.
We are planning for 30-60 individual comfortable Eco Cabins. The main service building called CORE, (Council, Offices, Recreation, and Eatery) would be hosting a myriad of other affiliates as well as keep our candidates focused and encouraged to stay on target with their individual goals.
A barn and stables for our the Equine Unwind are another type of therapy to be offered. This could take an interesting element where maybe the participant if qualifies, would keep the animal and care for it as it’s Program ongoing service animal/companion.
Iron Man Course development, for the disabled as well will be constructed. A Tribute Garden and a Chapel we will call Spiritual Awakenings will help develop a base line to grow from. That is a thumbnail sketch of the development and all are subject to change as needed. Our plans are to keep our resident veterans busy with as much productive physical activity as they are able, as well as group and individual therapies. We believe too much free time won’t promote the healing they need. We will encourage being part of something bigger than themselves, as a team, and hopefully individual strengths will be fostered through that kind of supportive and productive environment. A 6-month program is thought to be enough to get positive results and maybe 3 month programs can be had after the individual assessments are completed.
Phases Done So Far
The first phase was the survey done on the boundaries, but no topographies, which are needed for our initial architectural presentation. The survey was done by Ron Willhoit and he donated about $4,000 worth of service work.
The next phase was the drone flight at a donation from Robert Jadloski of about $6,000! Mr.Jadloski is wanting to revisit the site at the behest of the architects in the near future when needed
Architectural services were donated by Gilmore Designs for the conceptual drawings.
The very next phase after the architectural will be the Project’s Business and Visualization Plan, we are working with local universities for help with this development.
There are no funds available for the project right now and any costs that have been bore is by Veterans’ Outreach’s General Funds. When the phases are completed is when the Government Agencies, Foundations, Universities, Businesses, Medical Groups, Philanthropists, and individual donors will be sought to start and complete the project. Naming rights will be available.
We will need to solicit for $200,000 or more for seed money to help kick off the rest of the presentation development and the start of the infra structure like roads and geological assessments.
If you have any further questions contact John Ely at [email protected].