Elderly Couple Share Their Farm With Vets Suffering From PTSD

Elderly Couple Share Their Farm With Vets Suffering From PTSD

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Rick and Donna Wanless have lived by themselves on a serene 25-acre farm for the past 43 years – but now they want to share it with those who might need some peace and quiet as well.

The elderly couple is transforming their property into Honor Ranch: a refuge for veterans and first responders suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Honor House, a nearby housing project in New Westminster that gives out-of-town patients a place for rehabilitation and care, will work together with Honor Ranch to further develop their facilities. Their gazebo, stable, and guesthouse will offer places for therapy programs and treatment activities while the organization builds tiny houses and rooms for out-of-town visitors.

The New Westminster Fire Department even said they could contribute by building a 300 square foot cottage.

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“We’re hoping it will provide a bit of an escape from the rigours of everyday life, where people could come and camp and fish and do some boating,” Wanless told CBC. “At some point in the future, [the main house] may well become gifted to the first responders and to Honour House but at the present time we’re just sharing what we’ve got with them.”

Rick got the idea for the project when first responders rescued him after he broke his pelvis four years ago. If it hadn’t been for the paramedics on hand, he might have been in dire straits.

Rick and Donna never had any children and they have no plans to sell the house – they’re just happy to help those less fortunate in any way that they can.

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