U.S. Army veteran Will D. recently visited Patriot Point with his wife and two children for a relaxing weekend.
Will, who served from 2005 to 2009 and was an interrogator stationed overseas, now lives in the Washington, D.C., area. He and his family drove to Patriot Point , arriving on Friday and staying until Sunday. They enjoyed a beautiful weekend on the beach, capped by a nighttime bonfire. Will also had the chance to work out in the Under Armour Freedom Fitness Center and tried out Patriot Point’s new shooting range.
“We had a nice, relaxing time,” Will said. “It was very therapeutic. Hugh, Lauren, Mike and Katie rolled out all the stops and we felt so taken care of by everyone. We hope to visit again!”
With the weather warming up, spring landscaping work is in full effect at Patriot Point. Thanks again to Ruppert Landscaping, which continues its generous support of Patriot Point.
This past fall, following the completion of the Main House Phase II renovation, Ruppert donated 22 trees, 50 potted plants and 9,000 square feet of sod which was installed by Patriot Point volunteers. That came after Ruppert donated and installed 15 trees, 50 shrubs, 350 perennials and 10,000 square feet of sod to Patriot Point in 2018.
This spring, Ruppert plans to send a crew to install 1,200 beach grasses it is donating to shore up the dunes along Patriot Point’s waterfront.
“We think Patriot Point is a great organization for our nation’s active-duty and veteran service members,” Ruppert Landscape Operations Manager Casey Cook said. “At Ruppert, we get to pick who we donate to and this is definitely a cause that we like to revisit every year if there is a need, for sure.”
“I love the location. It’s so peaceful.”
Cook still remembers his initial visit to Patriot Point to scope out the property’s landscaping needs. As Cook eyed his surroundings while pulling down the driveway a bald eagle swooped in front of his vehicle.
“We are so appreciative of Ruppert’s incredible ongoing support of Patriot Point,” Military Bowl Foundation President & Executive Director Steve Beck said. “It is thanks to contributions like Ruppert’s that we are able to make Patriot Point such an inviting destination for guests, especially the men and women who serve our country so valiantly.”
It was a busy weekend at Patriot Point, as a group of volunteers from Harkins Builders, Inc. spent a full day taking down several dead trees near the property entrance, finishing up work started the day before by three retired fire fighters. The group from Harkins included three marine veterans, two Navy veterans and one Army veteran.
“What a great day to spend putting in some hard work with a bunch of veterans and first responders,” Harkins vice president Ben Nichols said. “I am still smiling about it. We look forward to contributing again very soon. Please always feel free to reach out if a project pops up without warning.”
“What an amazing effort by both groups,” Patriot Point General Manager Hugh Middleton said. “Those trees have needed to come down for some time and thanks to these volunteers for making it happen. We can’t thank our volunteers enough. The property looks the way it does because of groups like the one from Harkins.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
Relaxing and safe environment to enjoy outdoor recreational activities