Category Archives: Patriot Point

Walter Reed SRU

Three active-duty U.S. Army soldiers recovering in the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center’s Soldier Recovery Unit visited Patriot Point earlier this month for a weekday retreat that included a charter fishing outing.

“The service members are so happy to get away from Walter Reed for the day,” said Jenn Trantin, the unit’s recreational therapist. “It is so relaxing for them to get on the boat and cast a line. It doesn’t matter how big the fish are or whether they are biting at all. The peacefulness and serenity of being on the water is so calming and provide a great respite in their recovery.”

Sea Floor Carpets Donate to Patriot Point

When he opened Sea Floor Carpets, Hardwood and More five years ago, Don Robertson established a priority of wanting to give back to the surrounding community near Berlin, Maryland. He would take leftover carpet, bind it and donate it to churches. He gave to causes that supported recovering service members.

This past spring, Robertson added another component to his philanthropy. He wanted to donate $50 from every purchase from March through July, splitting the money between the local humane society and a group that supported recovering service members. Robertson’s good friend John Rego, a U.S. Army veteran who has visited and supported Patriot Point, suggested that Patriot Point would be a good fit.

Business was good. To date, Robertson has donated $6,375 to Patriot Point.

“We were very fortunate and blessed with great sales and the ability to do this,” Robertson said. “I am not military, but my heart goes out to all who are and all who support it.”

T&G Builders & Custom Design

A crew from T&G Builders & Custom Design in Berlin, Maryland, has been at Patriot Point recently, providing services to complete general maintenance and improvements on several buildings.

“This area is subject to the harshest environment, with no obstruction from the water,” said T&G Builders Vice President John Rego, who is also a U.S. Army veteran and Airborne Ranger. “We’re looking at areas that have been problematic over the past few years, pulling them apart and correcting them the right way.”

T&G specializes in renovations and building custom homes on the waterfront throughout the coastal region of the Eastern Shore. That experience and knowledge was handy when working at Patriot Point.

“The crew is doing a great job,” Patriot Point General Manager Hugh Middleton said. “They are really keeping things looking great. It is incredibly generous of T&G to continue its support of Patriot Point and help with these projects.”

Walter Reed Soldier Recovery Unit

Three service members from the Walter Reed Soldier Recovery Unit recently visited Patriot Point for a weekday retreat that included a charter fishing outing and some relaxing time on the beach.

“The trip to Patriot Point was so far my best experience since been stationed here at Walter Reed’s SRU,” U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Roy Thompson said. “A day that started out with me been optimistic about whether or not I was going to have fun catching any fish ended with a blast. … We suddenly started catching a lot of fish and everyone was having so much fun. It was just a personal joy for me to see the smiles, encouragement and participation by everyone on the boat.”

Staff Sergeant Thompson also took the opportunity to use his drone and take photos and videos of the trip.

“Please sign me up for futures trips,” he said. “Thanks once again to the [Walter Reed] team for planning these getaways to help myself and others soldiers to relax our minds and not focus so much on the issues that cause us to be here.”

U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Renee Butts was accompanied on the trip by her daughter and two grandchildren. They opted to hang out on the Patriot Point beach instead of going fishing.

“The level of peace and tranquility the time spent there will always remain near and dear to my heart,” Butts said. “I spent time walking along the beach, sitting enjoying the mindful moments the water so perfect. The staff was very welcoming, stayed out of sight just to allow the feeling of being at home in a peaceful environment. The day and the moment meant everything. So, I thank you so much for continuing to allow service members to enjoy so much of this well-needed peaceful and beautiful place.”

Walter Reed July 2021

Five service members from the Walter Reed Soldier Recovery Unit recently visited Patriot Point for a day trip that included a charter fishing outing.

“We had enlisted to officers, people from all over the United States, even one from Jamaica. We had a really good mix of people who came, from all walks of life,” said Jenn Trantin, the unit’s recreational therapist.

“They loved it,” Trantin said. “Getting time away from Walter Reed is good for the emotional and mental health.”

After the fishing trip, the group enjoyed the Main House at Patriot Point, as the visitors played pinball and arcade games, enjoyed the outdoor decks and found peaceful relaxation time on the beach.

“It was an excellent way to relax and enjoy the outdoors at a well-maintained facility,” U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Devon Poole said. “I would encourage others to attend an outing at Patriot Point and enjoy all they have to offer.”

Capitol Police Visit

A dozen U.S. Capitol Police officers recently visited Patriot Point for a weekend retreat.

The group arrived on Saturday morning, toured the property, then settled in for a few games of cornhole. About half the group went fishing that afternoon, followed by a dinner of shrimp and chicken with a nighttime bonfire on the beach.

“It was very relaxing,” Officer Tommy DeMar said. “Everyone was excited to get away. We’ve been working 16-hour days for about four months. It was great to talk amongst ourselves in a different environment other than work. It was great to get away. The place is amazing.”

Veteran Retreat June 2021

Supporters of Patriot Point organized a recent weekend retreat for eight veterans.

“I put the group together as a mixture of different veteran service organizations that I belong to or participate in events with – the Marine Corps League, Wounded Warrior Project and Delaware Chapter of Veterans,” said John Rego, a U.S. Army veteran who was an Airborne Ranger and served in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“I had never met most of the guys before. I only knew two of them and only one had been to Patriot Point previously.”

The retreat was sponsored by Patriot Point supporter Bob Basarab of Bel Air Road Supply. Carl Peterson of Nicolock brought a 40-foot boat to take the group out for a day of fishing. Bel Air Road Supply and Nicolock have continually supported Patriot Point, contributing to recent renovations.

As Rego has seen in previous visits to Patriot Point, it did not take long for the group to mesh.

“The first night is always interesting to watch – some guys are a little standoffish and you can tell they have things they are dealing with or don’t know what to expect or how the weekend will pan out,” Rego said.

“But it takes less than 24 hours for that to change. By the second night, everyone is joking with each other, sitting next to someone new, having conversations. It doesn’t matter who you were or where you are from. Slowly but surely you can see them drop their guard as time goes on. The esprit de corps comes out. It makes everybody feel like they’re in the right place.”

One of the veterans was into archery and brought along his bow and arrows and the group practiced its target shooting. Another veteran was into treasure hunting and brought a metal detector – little did the group know it would discover several different old coins while searching along the dune near the beach. Rego sent the coins to a friend who is an archaeologist.

“Stuff like that is so cool,” Rego said. “To make friends like this and have shared experiences.”

On Saturday, Peterson took most of the group out on the water for a splendid day of fishing, while Basarab stayed back at Patriot Point and chatted with one of the veterans who chose to stay on land.

“He served in Iraq and was injured there,” Basarab said. “We hung out all day and got to know each other. Sometimes that means just as much, if not more than, the other stuff. I don’t think he has a lot of people to talk to. He poured it all out. It gave us a little more understanding of what he needed from the weekend.”

After those who went fishing returned, the group relaxed on the patio outside the barn and were entertained by the band Just a Bit Outside.

“It was an awesome weekend,” Basarab said. “I say this every time I visit Patriot Point, but it really was the best weekend!”

Fort Meade BOSS – June 2021

The Fort Meade Better Opportunities for Single Service-Members recently brought 21 service members to Patriot Point for a weekend retreat.

U.S. Navy Petty Officer Second-Class Juan Cuen, who is president of the Fort Meade BOSS program, had visited Patriot Point earlier this spring on a retreat organized by USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore. Cuen saw the impact that Patriot Point made and inquired about bringing a group of service members from Fort Meade.

“It’s awesome and great to see people engage and disconnect from the world and get to know other individuals,” Cuen said. “I feel extremely blessed to come across a sanctuary where I can unwind and connect with people and discuss struggles in life and how to overcome them.”

While Mother Nature did not cooperate during the weekend, as it rained often, the group participated in several indoor activities, including a yoga class and tarot card readings. They also enjoyed a barbecue and played board games before getting to hit the water and go kayaking on Sunday.

“Patriot Point offers everything a person needs to unplug and relax, from kayaking to hiking,” said U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Michele Scates. “The two main buildings are awesome with full kitchen and one big table where your group of 20-plus can eat together and connect over a meal. I will come back the first chance I get!”

“It allowed me to unwind and disconnect from the busy world,” said U.S. Navy Petty Officer Third-Class James Sumrall. “Military life can be very stressful and exhausting, so to have a few days away from it all was absolutely perfect. The staff also had a lot of great life advice to give which has helped me even after returning home.”

Cappo & Associates Landscaping

The pull to give back and support service members led Dennis Cappo to Patriot Point, where his business, Cappo & Associates Landscaping has helped turn the area between the Welcome Center and the Main House into a picturesque setting befitting a hardscape catalog.

“I come from a family where everyone has served and I feel there is an obligation to give back when we can,” Dennis Cappo said. “We may not all be able to afford the big financial donation, but we all can put in hard work, sweat equity and bust our butts to give back. We have got to take care of the guys and gals that have  taken care of us and whom have sacrificed so much for America – remember that freedom isn’t free — it’s been paid for by the American warrior! Long live the brotherhood!”

At Patriot Point, Cappo & Associates has played a key role improving the entrance to the Main House, installing pavers in the driveway and creating sidewalks of pavers and personalized bricks donated through the Brick By Brick campaign. Cappo & Associates also installed an exterior stone veneer as part of the recent Main House renovations.

Dennis Cappo also reached out to his suppliers and has secured a donation of materials for a sprinkler system, and his company will donate the installation.

Goetz Family- May 2021

The Goetz family recently visited Patriot Point for a weekend retreat sponsored by Hope for the Warriors.

Lawrence Goetz is a gunnery sergeant currently stationed at Marine Corps headquarters in Quantico, where he is an administrative chief. He has served in the Marine Corps for 17 years. Lawrence, his wife Stephanie and their two children enjoyed a relaxing weekend at Patriot Point, where they were able to fish, hike throughout the property and enjoy indoor and outdoor activities.

“My family and I are truly grateful for being able to spend time at Patriot Point,” Goetz said. “Being there is a break from all the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. It was great having a weekend where the whole family stayed off their tablets and phones. It was great being able to rekindle family time that can be easily neglected. 

“The impact that Patriot Point has on our service members is truly magical.  It is a great place to relax your mind, body, and soul.  You are able to spend quality time with your loved ones.  Spending time at Patriot Point allows you to reset.  Allowing service members to come back to work healthier and more committed to their duties.”