Operation Restored Warrior recently brought four veterans, one active-duty service member and a law enforcement official for five days at Patriot Point. The group traveled from across the country, with guests coming from California, Oregon, Washington, Michigan and New Jersey.
“We work with them over the course of a few days, bringing them to a place joy is restored in their lives and their hearts are restored,” said Timothy Harting, a U.S. Army veteran and director of drop zone operations for Operation Restored Warrior.
“The one thing we say is that they leave in a better place than they arrived. They’re glad that they came and ultimately got their lives back.”
Based in Colorado Springs, Operation Restored Warrior’s mission is to rescue, rebuild, and restore what was lost and stolen from our warriors lives.
Guests traveling down Route 16 will see something new as they approach Patriot Point. Thanks to Designs & Signs LLC of Edgewater, Md., there is new signage welcoming everyone to Patriot Point.
Design & Signs’ father-and-son team of Brendon and Travis Brandon recently traveled to Patriot Point and installed the composite lettering on the stonework adjacent to the entrance gate. Brendon Brandon is a longtime friend of Patriot Point volunteer coordinator Mike Mattingly.
Upon completion of the installation, Designs & Signs generously donated the balance of the cost to Patriot Point.
“That was the first time I had been there,” Travis Brandon said. “It’s a pretty cool place and it’s definitely making a difference in people’s lives. We were glad to help with the project.”
“What an incredibly kind gesture,” Military Bowl Foundation President & Executive Director Steve Beck said. “It is because of businesses like Designs & Signs, which share our commitment to giving back to those who serve our country so valiantly, that Patriot Point is able to make such a strong impact on our nation’s service members.”
Patriot Point recently welcomed a group of four combat veterans for a weekend hunt and they were joined by several donors and prospective donors.
The veterans included U.S. Marine Corps veteran Joey Jones, a double amputee who is a Fox News contributor; U.S. Marine Corps veteran Danny Ridgeway, a recipient of the Silver Star; retired U.S. Navy SEAL Harold Bologna; and Sean Kelly, who served in the U.S. Army Special Forces.
“The last hunt of the season is always a big one with a lot of folks in attendance,” Patriot Point General Manager Hugh Middleton said. “This year was no different. Everyone showed up midday on Friday for a few hours of hunting in the afternoon. Saturday was an all-day hunt with a short break for breakfast and lunch. It was a great opportunity for our civilian guests to sit in the blinds with some of our nation’s finest warriors. The storytelling carried on into the evening around the dinner table and fireplace.”
“Everyone involved with Patriot Point from concept to reality are to be commended,” guest Jimmy Molloy wrote afterward. “What a fabulous place for such a deserving cause. The rehab of the Main House and the landscaping and pavers/drive bring everything together. …
“I look forward to a future hunt and it won’t be my last donation.”
A group of nine volunteers got a huge jump on spring cleanup over a recent weekend at Patriot Point. The group included veterans, retired fire fighters, members of Bravo Zulu Outdoors and others, who took on massive outdoor cleanup missions throughout the property.
Part of the cleanup efforts focused on the area behind the Guest House, which will soon become Patriot Point’s new shooting range.
Following a weekend of hard work, the group enjoyed a feast of shrimp and fresh local oysters.
“Patriot Point is fortunate to have many dedicated volunteers who share our mission of providing a first-class retreat for our nation’s recovering service members, their caregivers and families,” Military Bowl Foundation President & Executive Director Steve Beck said. “Thank you to everyone who pitched in this past weekend and continues to make Patriot Place such a special place.”
If you are interested in joining Patriot Point’s volunteers, visit https://patriotpoint.org/application-for-volunteer-opportunities-at-patriot-point/.
Military Warriors Support Foundation recently hosted three veterans, two of whom are medically retired, for a midweek retreat at Patriot Point.
The guests traveled from Frederick, Md.; San Antonio; and Boston, N.Y., and enjoyed several days of hunting. It was the first bird hunt for all three guests.
The area in front of the Patriot Point Main House received its finishing touches thanks in part to three generations of the Plank family.
Patriot Point Managing Member Stuart Plank and his son, Casey, a student at Georgetown Prep, were joined by 10 of Casey’s classmates as they erected three new flagpoles in the circle in the middle of the driveway in front of the Main House.
The flagpoles, donated by Jayne Plank, Stuart’s mother, were the last piece of the hardscape renovations that include a new parking area and landscaping.
“It was great,” Stuart Plank said. “It was tough to get the flagpoles just right. You’ve got to plumb them and get the hydraulic cement around them so they stay. My son said to me, ‘This is really cool. We did something down here that I’ll be able to see for years to come.’ It creates a very welcoming area.”
The students spent one night at Patriot Point. In addition to raising the flagpoles, they helped with landscaping work and did cleanup in the woods “under the command of Mike Mattingly,” Stuart Plank said.
Several veterans referred by the Wounded Warrior Project and the Marine Corps League recently visited Patriot Point for a midweek hunting retreat.
The group gathered at Patriot Point the night before the hunt for a dinner supplied by Bob Basarab and Bel Air Road Supply.
“The group stayed up late getting to know each other and swapping stories,” said John Rego, a U.S. Army veteran who was an Airborne ranger and served in Afghanistan and Iraq. Patriot Point managing member Stuart Plank, general manager Hugh Middleton and volunteer coordinator Mike Mattingly “did an amazing job of letting everyone feel welcome.”
The group went out the next morning and headed to four different blinds, each with their own guides, for a successful hunt.
“I didn’t get a final count of all of the ducks that were taken down, but the pile was pretty big when we came back in,” Rego said. “We were welcome back by Mike making a massive firehouse-style breakfast and even introduced one of the guys to his first taste of scrapple – he was obviously hooked for life.
“For as short of a trip as it was, the event was so impactful to the group that visited. Many were left searching for words to describe Patriot Point, but know that they just felt good while there. I describe it as my Disneyland, because there is something magical about the property and the people that work there. We all look forward to coming back in the future.”
USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore recently hosted three active-duty service members and a few of their family members for a hunting retreat at Patriot Point.
The group included one Army officer, one Marine and one Air Force airman.
“We got there the night before and hung out in the Guest House,” said Kyle Barr, USO-Metro mobile operations and programs specialist. Volunteer coordinator Mike Mattingly “made a great dinner. The next day we went ducking hunting and while the ducks weren’t flying like we wanted them to, everybody went home with at least three breasts of duck.”
Freedom Hunters recently brought two groups of veterans to Patriot Point.
One group included two retired Marines, three Navy veterans, two Army veterans (one who had received a Purple Heart) and another solider who served in the Army National Guard.
“Many warriors have said that having time to spend with fellow vets on a retreat or out in the field, or even enjoying the comraderie and banter of a chilly early morning in a duck blind is better medicine than they could ever receive from the VA,” said Tom Deoudes, regional director for Freedom Hunters. “That being said, there is no place better to get that prescription filled than at Patriot Point.”
The group enjoyed dinner and relaxing by the fire the night before an early-morning duck hunt.
“All went home with plenty of duck for the freezer and a fantastic life’s memory,” Deoudes said. “Best of all, new friendships were made. Freedom Hunters is extremely proud to partner with Patriot Point and the owners and staff, with a common mission to thank and honor all those who have served and sacrificed.”
Similarly, the second group of eight guests also enjoyed dinner and a fire the night before heading out for the hunt at zero-dark-thirty.
“They were up for the challenge and there was a lot of cleaning needed,” Deoudes said.
“What an awesome time!” one of the guests said. “Thank you for all you do for us vets and for Freedom Hunters. It was an opportunity that I’ll reminisce back on for quite a while.”
The Leashes of Valor executive team recently visited Patriot Point, bringing along a few veterans for a duck hunt and a goose hunt, while also helping Patriot Point General Manager Hugh Middleton with a few improvements at the property.
Leashes of Valor provides service dogs for injured veterans.
“We just relaxed and had a great time,” said Leashes of Valor CEO and co-founder Jason Haag, a 13-year Marine Corps veteran. “One of the reasons we went was to talk logistics for a service dog class at Patriot Point in May, when we will have four veterans and four service dogs there.”