Wounded warriors will soon have a place to heal in northern Virginia

Wounded warriors will soon have a place to heal in northern Virginia


Wounded warriors and their families will soon have a new place to heal in northern Virginia.

Ground was broken in early December on the PenFed Grand Lodge at the Serve Our Willing Warriors Warrior Retreat location in Haymarket.

“This project itself has been long-coming,” said Shirley Dominick, president and co-founder of SOWW.

A $300,000 grant from PenFed Credit Union is helping to bring the lodge to reality.

“The fight does not end on the battlefield for our wounded warriors,” said James Schenck, president/CEO of PenFed Credit Union and aCEO of PenFed Foundation. “The PenFed Grand Lodge will host hundreds of warriors and their families so they can renew their spirits and gain access to critically needed group programs.”

The grant comes on top of a $200,000 donation towards the lodge’s construction by PenFed’s charitable arm, PenFed Foundation.

In addition to six bedrooms, the Grand Lodge will include a 2,000-square-foot multi-purpose room that can be used to facilitate small group training for up to 60 people in PTSD and sexual abuse counseling.

“These are things warriors are truly struggling with,” said Dominick. “It’s a huge win for everybody.”

The lodge will also host job training, entrepreneurial training, and classes in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

SOWW began in 2012 following a call in 2006 from Dominick’s pastor at Park Valley Church in Haymarket.

“It was simply going out as a small group and find something to do in the community for someone else outside of the church,” she said.

Dominick’s group decided to visit wounded warriors recovering at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

“That led us to provide more to these warriors coming out of that hospital environment, now having a haven to come to spend time with their families at this warrior retreat,” Dominick said.

In 2012, the group found an 11,000-square-foot house that the community came in and renovated and Serve Our Willing Warriors was born.

Dominick said the warriors and families who visit can “feel the love” the community put into the house for them.

“Collectively, we make a huge difference in these warriors’ lives by providing them a place for respite and with this new Grand Lodge a place where others can be trained,” Dominick said.

The additional space the lodge will provide will allow the nonprofit to work with PenFed’s Veteran Entrepreneurship Program, she continued.

“It will allow veterans who are looking to start their own businesses some one-in-one mentorship,” Dominick said.

In 2018, the PenFed Foundation donated $300,000 to SOWW to build the PenFed Foundation Home at Warrior Retreat. The 5-bedroom PenFed Foundation Home doubled the capacity at Warrior Retreat, enabling SOWW to provide respite after long hospital stays for 300 wounded warriors and their families per year.

The lodge is expected to be completed by December of 2023.

Those who are interested in learning more to support wounded warriors and their families can visit here.



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