One elderly couple, Rick and Donna Wanless, have lived on a 25-acre farm for the past 43 years – but now they want to share it with those who might need some peace and quiet as well. And they’re doing it in the best, most patriotic way possible!
The retired couple is transforming their property into Honor Ranch: a refuge for veterans and first responders suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
PTSD is a ‘no notice event’ according to David Scandrett, a peer volunteer with the Vancouver chapter of Operational Stress Injury Social Support.
“Soldiers, who come back from Afghanistan, they don’t go and sit down with a social worker and the social worker says: ‘right, in three weeks, seven days and two minutes you’re going to have an operation stress injury,'” said Scandrett, who retired after 38 years service with Canadian forces.
“We have people who have been fine for 20 years and then all of a sudden bang, the right set of stimulus, the right set of triggers and, off they go.”
The ranch, he expects, will be well used by veterans and first responders alike.
“If they need help and if we can offer it, the doors will be open to say thank you for what they do each and every day,” said De Genova.
Rick and Donna Wanless are delighted to be in a position to help.
Both Rick and Donna are in their 70s, and they felt they have had a great life and they want to give something back. There’s no more deserving group of people. Here in America, our veterans have a tragically, horrifically high suicide rate, and the VA has let down far too many of our bravest and best.
I don’t know much about Canadian veterans’ benefits, but this couple proves that private good samaritans can do what a government can’t or won’t do for veterans, and they deserve the highest praise!
To be in that state of mind and have that drive to help is a blessing I only hope to have when I grow older.
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