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New vacation home to be built in Va. for wounded veterans

(Photo, ABC7){ }

It’s much more than home sweet home for Jon Meadows, a retired sergeant who served in the Army for 13 years. He says the home in Haymarket saved his life.

“I was in a very dark moment, suicidal moment at the time,” said Sgt. First Class Meadows.

“I was really worried that we weren’t going to make it through the summer,” said Melissa Meadow’s, his wife, who learned about the Warrior Retreat at Bull Run.

Since 2015, it has offered an escape from the medical environment for injured veterans.

“It took away all that stress,” said Sgt. Meadows.

Sgt. Meadows suffered a compound traumatic brain injury. He was in Afghanistan in 2013 when his convoy hit an IED. He has memory loss and seizures. In June, his family enjoyed the Virginia countryside by day and the campfire at night.

Now there will be a second home. Ground was broken to build on 37-acre property.

The PenFed Foundation is donating $300,000.

“Too many times we think the battle has ended on the battlefield for our veterans. This home reinforces to the veteran and to the family that America cares,” said James Schenck, President & CEO, PenFed Credit Union.

The home is run by the non-profit group Serve Our Willing Warriors.

“It just changes their whole demeanor and it causes them to put themselves in now a relaxed environment,” said Shirley Dominick, the co-founder and president of Serve Our Willing Warriors.

The new home means the capacity will double. Each year, 500 families will take a vacation from their medical treatment. It is scheduled to open in the summer of 2018.

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