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.”
A group of active-duty service members from the U.S. Army Caisson Platoon of 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) recently were invited to visit Patriot Point for a weekend retreat.
Joined by a gentleman who helps the platoon with its horse training, the group arrived on Friday night and the following day enjoyed an early-morning duck hunt and then fished off the pier in the afternoon.
It was a welcome respite for the group, which had not been on leave from Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in more than nine months.
The platoon is one of the hallmarks of the Arlington National Cemetery funeral procession, with its stately caisson pulled by six handsome horses.
“It was awesome, just a nice escape from normal life,”” Sgt. Colin Martin said. “You’re in the country, out away from everything. And everything there is super nice and well kept. There are so many options to do fun, relaxing things.”
Volunteer coordinator Mike Mattingly recently hosted Take Home Shrimp Feast benefiting Patriot Point.
Supporters picked up shrimp Emily’s Produce in Cambridge, Md., and Pip Moyer Recreation Center in Annapolis, with proceeds going to the Military Bowl Foundation’s 290-acre retreat for recovering service members, their families and caregivers on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
“What a wonderful event with delicious North Carolina shrimp,” Military Bowl Foundation President & Executive Director Steve Beck said. “While we have been unable to hold our traditional fundraisers, Mike was focused to make sure we could do this and raise funds in a safe environment. Special thanks to our entire volunteer crew for helping make this happen and to everyone who purchased a dinner and/or a raffle ticket.”
Mattingly credited several contributors for the fundraiser’s success, including the Hogs and Heroes Foundation, Patriot Point volunteers, volunteers from Eastport, Lindy’s Seafood, Woolford Store, Pip Moyer Recreation Center directors Archie Trader and Bumper Moyer, the City of Annapolis Police Department and the Anne Arundel-Annapolis Community Emergency Response Team.
The PenFed Founded Veteran Entrepreneur Investment Program launched its Master’s Program with a leadership and team-building retreat at Patriot Point earlier this month. The intensive Master’s Program is designed to prepare growth-stage, veteran-owned startups to raise investor funds and scale their companies. The program is held twice per year, consists of 10 veteran-owned companies and is sponsored by SOS International (SOSi).
In addition to the program’s meetings, the group also enjoyed a skeet shooting tournament at Patriot Point’s five-stand, held a closest to the pin chipping contest and enjoyed nightly bonfires.
PenFed CEO James Schenk, PenFed Foundation President Gen. (Ret.) John “Mick” Nicholson and SOSi CEO Julian Setian presented Military Bowl Foundation President & Executive Director Steve Beck with a Flags of Valor flag for hosting the retreat. The flag is mounted in the Patriot Point Guest House.
The PenFed Foundation also made a $5,000 donation to Patriot Point.
USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore hosted four active-duty military couples for a retreat at Patriot Point.
The couples began their stay by touring the facility and enjoying lunch, followed by kayaking and paddle boarding.
“They went out far into the water and enjoyed the beautiful weather that day,” said Brittany Buzzutto, USO-Metro’s field operations coordinator. “Many couples found it relaxing to walk along the beach and look at the tiny jellyfish that were floating in the water. The couples also enjoyed walking down the pier and enjoying the view.”
Following dinner, the group gathered on the beach for a bonfire.
“They talked with each other for hours about deployment locations, life with children, and the current state of the world,” Buzzutto said. “They all seemed to have a wonderful time, I wish I would have arranged for them to get to Patriot Point sooner. Things were very relaxing for them!”
Phase II of construction at Patriot Point is ongoing, with work focusing on the 1925 Main House Renovation.
Thanks to Pella Mid-Atlantic and the Maryland Building Industry Association’s Home Builders Care Foundation, the exterior doors and windows have been replaced, creating a much more energy-efficient environment.
Also, TW Perry continues to be a tremendous partner of Patriot Point, supplying nearly all of the exterior siding, interior framing, doors and trim material. Among the other contributors to the project:
Mangan and Associates donated the design work.
Patriot Point volunteer coordinator Mike Mattingly and his tireless crew have contributed demolition and ongoing assorted skilled labor projects.
Shelter Systems provided a structural engineering inspection and materials for repairs.
United Rentals and Reliant Drywall donated a lift to install exterior siding and drywall material.
Freestate Electric, a Union Sportsman Alliance member, is donating electrical labor, materials and fixtures.
Union Sportsman Alliance tradespeople also are donating much of the plumbing labor and material and others are planning further donations, including painting labor.
Patriot Point is currently looking for donations of tile material and carpeting.
“We are incredibly appreciative of the members of the Maryland Building Industry Association and the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance for their contributions at Patriot Point,” Military Bowl Foundation President & Executive Director Steve Beck said. “It is heartwarming to know that we have so many partners who share our commitment to providing a first-class retreat for the men and women who serve the nation so selflessly.”
Pella Mid-Atlantic and the Maryland Building Industry Association’s Home Builders Care Foundation recently teamed up to provide and install nearly $100,000 worth of new windows and doors at Patriot Point.
“Pella Mid-Atlantic is honored and proud to contribute to the Patriot Point replacement window and door project,” said David Lebowitz, General Manager, Eastern Shore, Pella Mid-Atlantic. “Giving back to our veterans in this way, where they can enjoy the beauty of the Eastern Shore with their families, is a wonderful way for us to participate in supporting the men and women who defend our freedom. The new windows and doors will add to the enjoyment of their stays at the property.”
The project replaced all of the exterior windows and doors on the 1925 Main House with more than 30 Pella Lifestyle Series Windows (the number one performing wood window for the combination of energy, efficiency and sound) and five Pella Brand Entry Doors.
The Home Builders Care Foundation, which is the charitable arm of the MBIA, contributed financially to the project and worked with Pella Mid-Atlantic and the Military Bowl Foundation to lead and coordinate the construction efforts.
“The Military Bowl Foundation and Patriot Point are so fortunate to have partners such as Pella Mid-Atlantic and the Maryland Building Industry Association,” Military Bowl Foundation President & Executive Director Steve Beck said. “Not only do they share our commitment to honoring and supporting our nation’s service members, but they take things to the next level and then some with their incredible generosity, helping us improve Patriot Point and give our service members this wonderful retreat to enjoy.”
Relaxing and safe environment to enjoy outdoor recreational activities